Hearts close to a deal for Odel Offiah as the Brighton defender arrives at Tynecastle Park
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Brighton and Hove Albion defender Odel Offiah arrived in Edinburgh today to take in Hearts’ European tie against Rosenborg at Tynecastle Park. The clubs have discussed a loan deal for the player and talks are now at an advanced stage.
The versatile centre-back can also play right-back and is keen to gain first-team experience this season. If the finer details are completed, he could join the Hearts squad in the next 24 hours.
Aged 20, Offiah is 6ft 2ins tall and would bring a physical presence to the back line at Tynecastle. He came through the Brighton youth system and is contracted there until summer 2024. The move to Scotland is designed to give him competitive experience.
Hearts want right-back competition for Nathaniel Atkinson as well as another option to cover central defence this season. Craig Halkett should return from a cruciate ligament injury in the coming weeks, with Frankie Kent and Kye Rowles paired together to start the season.
Offiah was born in England to Nigerian parents and is therefore eligible to represent both countries at international level. He is the nephew of the former England and Great Britain rugby player Martin Offiah. Having played for Brighton at under-18 and under-23 level, he needs first-team football to take his career to the next level.
Hearts have signed six players already this summer and will hope to conclude negotiations to make Offiah their seventh. Goalkeeper Michael McGovern, defender Frankie Kent, midfielder Calem Nieuwenhof, plus forwards Alex Lowry, Kyosuke Tagawa and Kenneth Vargas have all arrived in Gorgie so far.