Armand Gnanduillet in talks with French club as he prepares to leave Hearts
French club Le Mans are pushing to complete a deal to take Hearts forward Armand Gnanduillet back to France.
The player is in talks with French officials and is hopeful that everything can be agreed to let him leave Tynecastle Park within the next 48 hours. Le Mans are keen to sign him permanently with his Hearts contract due to expire at the end of the season.
Despite interest from several English Football League clubs and National League side Wrexham, the 29-year-old is content to return to his homeland. With Hearts midfielder Loic Damour currently on loan at Le Mans, there is already a familiar face to welcome him should the deal go through.
Le Mans play in the Championnat National, the French third tier, and Gnanduillet is happy to move there in order to revitalise his career after falling completely out of favour at Tynecastle.
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He was not included in the matchday squad for Tuesday night’s 2-0 win against St Johnstone despite Hearts filling only eight of their nine alloted substitute slots. He trained separately from the first-team squad in the build-up to the match.
Wrexham want Gnanduillet to help their promotion push towards League Two, while Sheffield Wednesday have also been tracking him but they have other options.
The Evening News revealed last month that English League Two club Salford City were keen on Gnanduillet after watching him fall down the pecking order in Scotland. Their manager, Gary Bowyer, coached the player at Blackpool but they have yet to make a formal offer for his services.
It is Le Mans who are firm favourites to sign Gnanduillet at this stage as the 6ft 5in forward looks to move home in order to secure regular first-team football once again.
He is eager to play more often after starting only three league games since Hearts were promoted back to the Premiership during the summer. He has been mainly restricted to a substitute's role, scoring one goal in 16 appearances overall this term.
Gnanduillet arrived at Tynecastle 12 months ago as a free agent after leaving the Turkish club Altay. He is now surplus to requirements and is expected to leave Edinburgh in the very near future if everything can be agreed with Le Mans.