Ex-Hearts player Craig Thomson in Livingston talks

Craig Thomson has been a standout performer for Newtongrange Star
Craig Thomson has been a standout performer for Newtongrange Star
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Livingston are in advanced talks with former Hearts player Craig Thomson with a view to signing the 24-year-old in the January transfer window.

Discussions have taken place between the club and Thomson in recent weeks after his current team Newtongrange Star gave the West Lothian outfit permission to speak to the former Scotland Under-21 cap.

The Evening News understands Livi made a move for Thomson last January but pulled out of the deal at the last minute. However, they’ve subsequently renewed their interest and are keen to bolster their squad for the second half of the Championship season.

Thomson was convicted in 2011 of lewd, libidinous and indecent behaviour towards two underage girls and was placed on the sex offenders’ register for five years but escaped the sack from Hearts. Then owner Vladimir Romanov sent the then 20-year-old on loan to Lithuanian feeder club FBK Kaunas before he spent time at FK Suduva. He was released from his Hearts contract in June 2013.

Thomson has been a standout for Newtongrange since making the move from Arniston Rangers last summer. Predominantly a right-back during his time at Tynecastle, he’s been utilised at both full-back and central midfield for Star and is a major goal threat from free-kicks.

His deal with the Junior outfit is due to end in May after he signed a one-year extension this year and it is understood a nominal fee would secure his services, with Newtongrange not set to stand in his way if the chance of a return to senior football arises.

Livingston are no strangers to the Junior scene with manager Mark Burchill having signed Scott Pittman from Bo’ness United and Jordyn Sheerin from Musselburgh Athletic this year.

Newtongrange boss Alan Miller says he would take a sense of pride if Thomson was to get a move back to the senior ranks, with Star and Arniston Rangers having given him an opportunity to play football.

“If he makes the move, we’ll take great pride in the fact we’ve helped him back to that level of the game,” said Miller.

“Apart from establishing ourselves as a Super League club, one of the other things that we wanted to do was to give Craig a platform to get back into the professional game. If he gets back into the professional game, we’ll all be delighted about the contribution that Newtongrange Star and incidentally, Arniston Rangers, made in helping Craig back into the senior game where he belongs.

“What Arniston and Newtongrange have done for Craig in getting him back into the senior game is not insignificant.

“His talent deserves that. I know it’s going to be tough because he’s 25 in April, it will be tough to move on to an even bigger club. There’s no reason ability-wise why he can’t or shouldn’t. If this comes to pass and Craig moves on in the January window, we’ll wish him all the best and thank him for his services at Newtongrange Star.”