Hearts in talks to sign Romanian defender Mihai Popescu

Edinburgh club aim to agree deal with Dinamo Bucharest
Romanian defender Mihai Popescu is wanted by Hearts.Romanian defender Mihai Popescu is wanted by Hearts.
Romanian defender Mihai Popescu is wanted by Hearts.

Hearts are in talks with the Romanian club Dinamo Bucharest as they move to make defender Mihai Popescu their sixth summer signing.

The centre-back is not in coach Cosmin Contra’s plans having been sent to train with their reserve squad.

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Provided Hearts and Dinamo agree a transfer deal, he will move to Scotland in the coming days to reinforce the defence at Tynecastle Park.

However, he may need to spend two weeks in quarantine before he begins training as Romania is on the Scottish Government’s list of high-risk countries.

Popescu, 27, is 6ft 2ins tall and can operate as a right or left-sided central defender. His availability has also captured the attention of Dinamo’s city rivals, Rapid.

He played 21 times on loan at St Mirren between January and May 2019, including in a 1-1 draw with Hearts at Tynecastle in February that year.

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He was then a key man in the play-offs against Robbie Neilson’s Dundee United as the Paisley club retained their Premiership place.

St Mirren wanted to extend Popescu’s stay in Scotland but said a proposed deal collapsed because of unrealistic demands from the player’s agent.

If this transfer is successful, he will join Josh Ginnelly, Jordan Roberts, Elliott Frear, Craig Gordon and Ross Stewart as new arrivals at Hearts.

A new centre-back is a priority for the Edinburgh club with both John Souttar and Christophe Berra currently injured.

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