Tynecastle officials have been hugely impressed by the 21-year-old Englishman’s performances since he arrived on a season-long loan deal in June. His Brighton contract expires at the end of the campaign and Hearts are eager to capture his signature.
However, they must wait until Brighton’s long-term plans for the player become clear. If Albion want to extend his stay at the Amex Stadium, it is expected Cochrane would return south and try to force his way into manager Graham Potter’s plans for next season.
Brighton are enjoying a fine season and currently sit joint-sixth in the English Premier League, level on points with Manchester United. Cochrane would face stern competition for game time at his parent club and must weigh up his options over the coming months.
He is entitled to discuss a pre-contract agreement with any interested club in January once his Brighton deal enters its final six months. Hearts will monitor the situation closely in anticipation of any developments.
They envisage Cochrane becoming a key player in their quest to challenge regularly at the top end of the Scottish Premiership and would therefore like him to sign a long-term deal at Tynecastle. He has made 16 competitive appearances and scored two goals in Edinburgh, establishing himself as first choice at left wing-back.
Hearts are also looking to extend contracts for goalkeeper Craig Gordon and defender John Souttar among others.