David Milinkovic has told Genoa he would like to return to Hearts next season but the Italian club are demanding a £600,000 fee.
The Frenchman is keen to continue his career at Tynecastle Park but negotiations are at a tricky stage with interest from other clubs in Italy and France.
Hearts officials will continue dialogue with Genoa’s representatives in the hope of bringing Milinkovic, 24, back to Edinburgh. The quoted transfer figure is a major stumbling block to any deal as Genoa know they could hold out and obtain a fee from another club.
The winger’s contract in Italy expires in summer 2019 and he is surplus to requirements at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris. He was loaned to Foggia last summer but moved to Hearts in another loan just weeks later. He made 26 appearances and scored six goals last season, becoming a favourite with the Hearts fans.
Manager Craig Levein would like Milinkovic and fellow loanees Steven Naismith, Demetri Mitchell and Joaquim Adao back again for the 2018/19 campaign. He is negotiating with their respective parent clubs.
Genoa hope to raise more than £4million by moving four players on whose contracts all expire in 12 months - Milinkovic, goalkeeper Eugenio Lamanna, defender Riccardo Fiamozzi and winger Paolo Ghiglione.
Chances of Hearts securing another loan deal for Milinkovic look slim due to other European teams who are interested in signing him permanently.