Hearts hope to sign the Adelaide United left-back Ben Garuccio on a pre-contract agreement.
The 22-year-old is out of contract in Australia and keen to move to Europe to further his career. He holds both Australian and Italian nationality and would provide a permanent solution to Hearts' left-back problem.
The Edinburgh club had Demetri Mitchell on loan from Manchester United this season and would like him back for another year if possible. However, United officials have told Hearts manager Craig Levein that Mitchell is needed for pre-season tour duty, therefore any loan decision would not be made until late summer.
Levein cannot afford to leave such a key area of his team hanging in the balance and is ready to make a formal contract offer to Garuccio. The full-back has represented Australia at under-20 and under-23 level.
He was born in Adelaide and played youth football at the Australian Institute of Sport before joining Melbourne Heart. He switched to Adelaide United in 2016 on a two-year contract.