Hearts are interested in signing 22-year-old Croatian centre-back Niko Datkovic from HNK Rijeka.
The Evening News has learned that Tynecastle officials have spoken to the player’s agent as well as representatives of several other European-based defenders.
Datkovic is an Under-21 internationalist, currently on loan at Spezia Calcio in Italy’s Serie B.
Any signing would only involve a nominal fee at the most as Hearts do not plan on paying vast sums in transfer fees this summer.
Head coach Robbie Neilson is looking to bolster central defence with skipper Danny Wilson leaving the club while Brad McKay has joined St Johnstone.