Hearts transfer update: Kyle Lafferty blow, £1.5m Celtic defender linked with Tynecastle move, trio to return, former favourite available
A recap of transfer news regarding Hearts in recent days
Hearts are likely to one of the busiest teams in the Scottish Premiership with regards to the January transfer window.
New manager Daniel Stendel is keen to put his own stamp on the squad with Jorg Sievers set to be appointed as his No.2. The German is desperate to drag the team off the foot of the table and away from danger.
By the time Hearts return to league business with a trip to Dingwall to face Ross County, which could prove a crucial encounter, there is every chance the squad will have a different look to it.
Players are expected to arrive and a some will likely leave. As such, Hearts will be a regular feature of the transfer gossip columns and rumour mills.
During the 2017/2018 campaign, the Northern Irishman became the closest Hearts player to reach the 20-goal mark since John Robertson achieved the feat in 1991/1992.
He fell just one short, notching his 20th goal for the club the following season in a 1-0 win over Celtic before making a six-figure move to Rangers.
There has been talk of a return to Tynecastle having left Norwegian side Sarpsborg 08 after helping them to survival in the top-flight.
However, any hopes Hearts fans had of seeing Lafferty pull on the maroon shirt once more were dashed on Sunday with the news that he is likely to look for a club abroad rather than return to Scotland.
Hearts were linked with a move for Celtic's out-of-favour centre-back Jack Hendry over the weekend.
The 24-year-old has played just 11 minutes of football this season for Neil Lennon with his future lying away from Parkhead.
Hendry was signed by Brendan Rodgers for around £1.5million from Dundee two years ago. He initially featured regularly for the Northern Irishman but struggles in Champions League qualification last season saw him slip down the defensive pecking order.
Fellow Premiership clubs as well as a number of English League One sides are rumoured to also be interested.
With John Souttar out injured, Hendry fits into a similar mould as the Tynecastle ace.
Loan trio to return
Three of the most promising youngsters at Hearts are set to return to Tynecastle this month after loan spells.
Seventeen-year-old Connor Smith signed off his time at League Two side Cowdenbeath with a goal and an assist in a 3-1 win over Annan Athletic.
In an interview after the match as he picked up his third man of the match award for the Blue Brazil, he confirmed that he would return to the first-team having already trained under Daniel Stendel.
He said of the new manager: "I've trained a few times with the first team and spoken to him. He seems good and think he will be a good help to Hearts."
Meanwhile, Dunfermline Athletic manager, and former Hearts coach, Stevie Crawford revealed he expects both Anthony McDonald and Harry Cochrane have their loan deals cut short and is just waiting for confirmation.Cochrane has made 12 appearances for the Pars with seven starts, while McDonald has struggled with injury which limited him to just two substitute appearances.
The latter impressed for Hearts during the Betfred Cup group stage, scoring against Cowdenbeath, prior to his move.
Jimmy Dunne available
Former centre-back Jimmy Dunne is set to be on the move once more after after his loan deal with Fleetwood Town cut short.
The Irishman, who became a fans' favourite during a 12-game loan spell at Tynecastle last season. He returned to parent-club Burnley midway of that campaign before joining Sunderland.
He is now once again back at Burnley after Fleetwood Town cancelled his loan over a "discipline breach" according to boss Joey Barton.
He said: "It’s another thing that will stay in the confines of the football club, another discipline breach in our opinion. Something that is non-negotiable for us.
“A lesson that needs to be learned for a young player. Jim did great, had a couple of good performances and scored a couple of good goals, but some things are just non-negotiable and he crossed a line for us."
Dunne is now expected to move to Bolton but would be a player welcomed back by Hearts fans.