Jordan McGhee has left Hearts to join Falkirk in a permanent transfer, with the Championship club paying an undisclosed fee for the 21-year-old.
Falkirk manager Peter Houston moved for the Scotland Under-21 defender when it became clear he wanted more regular first-team football this season. Having recently recovered from an ankle problem, McGhee has now signed a one-year deal at Falkirk with the option to extend.
He returned to Hearts in June after spending last season on loan at Middlesbrough. They decided against making that move permanent and, although McGhee played three times in Hearts' Betfred Cup campaign during July, he has now moved on.
Falkirk have signed the former Hearts youth Conrad Balatoni and the capture of McGhee, also a Riccarton academy graduate, further strengthens their defence.
"Jordan is a player of real quality, but also one with massive potential still to fulfill in the game," said Houston. "He is a player who is highly recommended by a number of people and at the age of just 21 will be a real asset to this club.
"I have said all along that I was looking to strengthen with two more players and both Jordan and Conrad Balatoni, who we signed yesterday, were my key targets.
"I am really pleased to have them both on board as I feel that we needed to add in these areas and both with all strength to our defensive options. Both Conrad and Jordan trained with the team this morning and already you can see they are settling in well to the group."
McGhee said: "I am delighted to be here. This is a really big club with good ambitions to get back into the top flight. It’s where it belongs and I really hope to be able to help it get there."