Hearts are in talks with Wigan Athletic midfielder Jack Byrne as the English League One side step up their interest in winger Jamie Walker.
Byrne is one of several signing targets for the Edinburgh club and negotiations with Wigan about a January move have begun. Walker could go the other way for a fee in the region of £300,000.
Hearts are keen to get a deal done for Byrne, who is on loan at Oldham Athletic until the end of the month. He can play as a central midfielder, an attacking midfielder or a winger.
The 21-year-old was born in Dublin and is a Republic of Ireland Under-21 internationalist. He is prepared to move to Scotland to further his career.
He came through the youth academy at Manchester City and, after loan spells at Cambuur and Blackburn Rovers, joined Wigan in January this year on a three-and-a-half-year contract. He agreed a short-term loan move to Oldham in August.
Walker is expected to leave Tynecastle during the winter transfer window as his contract is already in its final six months. Wigan hope to completing his signing within the next week to ten days.
Hearts also intend to sign a new left-back and a striker, with the Australian internationalist Jamie MacLaren high on their list of priorities. He is available on loan from the German second division club SV Darmstadt. However, he is on a lucrative weekly wage which Darmstadt want any interested club to cover.