Hearts looking at free-agent midfielders after Djoum blow

Craig Levein is scouring the free-agent market for a midfielder
Craig Levein is scouring the free-agent market for a midfielder
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Hearts manager Craig Levein is looking at free agent midfielders after losing Arnaud Djoum to injury.

Levein has had Ivorian striker Ghislain Guessan on trial but is also considering signing a midfield player as Djoum is out for around eight months with a snapped Achilles tendon.

Guessan has been offered another week’s trial after scoring for Hearts Under-20s against Dundee United on Tuesday night. A new forward was the Edinburgh club’s only priority but the long-term injury to Djoum – sustained against Ross County last Saturday – brings the midfield area into focus once more.

“I’m looking at midfielders as well as strikers with Arnaud out,” Levein explained. “Hopefully we’ll get Harry Cochrane back soon so it’s not critical, but we could do with another body in there. We have a lot of games coming up. I’m having a look at both positions.”

Teenager Cochrane is back in training after overcoming a neck injury sustained against Celtic last month. He has a small chance of making the squad for Saturday’s Ladbrokes Premiership visit to Ibrox.

“He’s come on a bit this week,” said Levein. “He started training on Tuesday, although it was non-contact. He’s feeling much better so he isn’t far away. I’d say he has an outside chance of making Saturday.”

Striker Steven Naismith should resume full training tomorrow after missing the past two matches with a hamstring complaint. Barring any negative reaction, he is expected to be involved at some point against his former club in Glasgow.