Hearts step up Liam Boyce pursuit after Burton Albion reject their offer

Edinburgh club ready for another push to sign Northern Irishman

Burton Albion striker Liam Boyce is wanted by Hearts
Burton Albion striker Liam Boyce is wanted by Hearts

Hearts will accelerate their attempts to sign Northern Ireland striker Liam Boyce after seeing their initial offer rejected by Burton Albion.

The Edinburgh club and Sunderland have both had bids for Boyce refused, but Hearts remain keen to add him to their forward line.

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He is in the final six months of his contract in Staffordshire and is rated highly by the Tynecastle manager Daniel Stendel. The German wants to sign a striker now to help his team fight relegation during the second half of the campaign.

He has first-hand experience of Boyce's goalscoring ability as the 28-year-old struck against Stendel's Barnsley side in Burton's 3-1 win last April. Hearts are likely to make another move for the forward before the month is out and Burton will consider selling for the right price.

Boyce has scored 14 goals in 33 games for the English League One side this season, including the winner against MK Dons last week.

Speaking on Wednesday morning, manager Nigel Clough said: "There is still interest in Liam Boyce and we have had two bids which have been rejected."

Hearts were keen to sign Boyce in summer 2017 after 25 goals in 40 games for Ross County made him Scotland's top goalscorer. He headed to England and signed a three-year contract in a record-breaking deal for Burton.

With that agreement nearing an end, Stendel senses the chance to bring him north to reinforce Hearts' quest for survival. He signed the Kosovan international winger Donis Avdijaj on Monday and is now focused on recruiting a goalscorer.