Hearts offer short-term contract to defender Aaron Hughes

Aaron Hughes has won 104 caps for Northern Ireland
Aaron Hughes has won 104 caps for Northern Ireland
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Hearts have made contact with Northern Ireland international defender Aaron Hughes to offer a contract until the end of the season.

The 37-year-old is now poised to become head coach Ian Cathro’s first signing at Tynecastle.

The deal could be extended into next season if both parties agree. The centre-back is currently a free agent and is wanted for his experience and leadership as Cathro tries to strengthen his defence.

Hughes has played in England’s Premier League with Newcastle United, Aston Villa and Fulham. He also holds 104 caps for Northern Ireland and represented his country at Euro 2016 last summer.

He has worked with Hearts assistant coach Austin MacPhee, who is also second in command to Northern Ireland coach Michael O’Neill.

Hughes spent the last six months as a marquee player at the Indian Super League club Kerala Blasters but is keen on the chance to continue his career back in Britain.

His arrival in Gorgie would reinforce the centre of Cathro’s defence and, potentially, allow Igor Rossi to fill the left-back role.