Ex-Hearts winger Sam Nicholson reveals why he is leaving Colorado Rapids as English clubs circle

Player is a free agent and wanted down south

Sam Nicholson has options after leaving Colorado Rapids.
Sam Nicholson has options after leaving Colorado Rapids.

Bristol Rovers are keen to sign Hearts winger Sam Nicholson after he terminated his contract at the American club Colorado Rapids.

The 25-year-old has interest from teams in Scotland and England as he prepares to return to British football as a free agent.

Rovers have declared an ambition to bring him to League One and help them push towards the play-offs next season.

Nicholson is leaving Colorado for family reasons and is expected to return to the UK this weekend to decide his future after three years in Major League Soccer.

A graduate of the Hearts youth academy, he played in the first team for four years before leaving for Minnesota United in summer 2017.

He was transferred to Colorado Rapids the following year and spent two years in Denver before agreeing to terminate his contract by mutual consent.

In a farewell message on the club website, Nicholson said: “Hello Rapids fans. Just a quick message to thank you guys for all the support you’ve shown since I’ve been at the club. It’s been nothing short of fantastic.

“I’ve loved every minute wearing the Rapids jersey and playing in front of you guys, so thank you very much for that. As you guys may be aware, the club and I have decided to part ways. This is to help me deal with some personal matters I have going on back home.

“I’m very grateful to the club for being so understanding to the other side of soccer and football, like family and stuff like that. I really appreciate that so I’d like to thank the club.

“Once again, the fans have been great as well so I’ll be forever grateful for that. I’ve been lucky enough to play in a team where the players are so close. We’ve got a great relationship with the coaching staff as well.

“That’s why this has been a tough decision for me. I’ve felt really connected at this team, with the players and the coaching staff, so I just wish everyone the best of luck for the future.

“I’m pretty sure you guys will achieve a lot of success and I’ll be really happy for you, so thank you for everything.”

Pádraig Smith, Colorado Rapids’ general manager, said: “This was a difficult decision for all parties involved, but ultimately the right one for Sam and his family’s well-being.

“Since arriving two years ago, Sam has played a crucial role in driving the club forward toward our goals and we’re grateful to him for his contributions on and off the pitch.

“He is a wonderful young man and a talented footballer. He will always be a part of the Rapids family and we wish him nothing but the best in the future.”

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