Hearts plan to solve their left-back problem with the signing of Manchester United's Demetri Mitchell on loan, the Evening News can reveal.
• READ MORE - Demetri Mitchell: The lowdown on Hearts’ new left back A deal until the end of the season has been agreed by the clubs and the 20-year-old is expected to make his Tynecastle debut against Hibs in the Scottish Cup later this month.
He is Craig Levein's first signing of the winter transfer window, with a new attacking midfielder and a forward still coveted by the Edinburgh club before the deadline at the end of the month.
Mitchell has one senior appearance to his name after Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho gave him his debut against Crystal Palace last May. He is almost 6ft tall with good pace and a strong left foot.
Born in Manchester, he joined the United youth academy aged ten and is an England youth internationalist at under-16, under-17, under-18 and under-20 level. He won the European Under-17 Championships with his country in 2014. Initially a left winger, he reverted to left-back last season with United's Under-23 side.
Several English clubs declared an interest this month but, after visiting Riccarton and Tynecastle in the last few days, Mitchell opted to gain more first-team experience in Scotland.
His arrival should provide Levein and the Hearts coaching staff with some comfort after constant problems in the left-back department this season.
Ashley Smith-Brown joined on a season-long loan from United's rivals, Manchester City, in July but has suffered persistent injuries. The Polish player Rafal Grzelak hasn't adjusted to Scottish football since arriving last summer.
Consequently, Levein used players out of position at left-back during the first half of the season. Michael Smith, Jamie Brandon and Daniel Baur all deputised at different times but Mitchell's signing is designed to provide a solution until the end of the season.