Hearts: Two new signings on priority list for specific position
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Two new centre-backs are wanted by Riccarton management to ensure the club’s defence is sufficiently reinforced should they qualify for European football.
John Souttar will leave to join Rangers at the end of the season having signed a pre-contract agreement with the Glasgow club in January. Taylor Moore is also due to return to parent club Bristol City at the same time when his loan deal expires.
That robs Hearts of two experienced central defenders and they are already compiling a list of potential replacements with the required quality and expertise.
The former Doncaster United defender Joe Wright remains a possibility as he gradually regains fitness after serious knee and ankle injuries. He has been given an open offer to train at Riccarton and prove his fitness once he feels ready.
The Edinburgh club had agreed terms to sign Wright, 26, last May before he suffered the injuries in Doncaster’s final game of the season against Peterborough United.
He is a free agent as his Rovers contract expired last summer, at which point he was due to join Hearts for nothing. He will look to rebuild his career once he regains fitness.
Another centre-back will also be sought to ensure there is plenty cover in defence for the challenges ahead next term.
Hearts recently signed goalkeeper Craig Gordon on an extended contract alongside regular first-team defenders Michael Smith, Craig Halkett and Stephen Kingsley.