Hearts winger Kenneth Vargas set for Roberto Mancini meeting as Costa Rica offer an incentive

The Tynecastle player is pushing to make his international debut in the coming days
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Costa Rica have offered Hearts winger Kenneth Vargas an incentive to cement a place at international level over the next few days. Interim coach Claudio Vivas is keen to nurture younger talent during friendlies against Saudi Arabia in Newcastle tonight and United Arab Emirates in Croatia on Tuesday.

Vargas is in the squad seeking his first senior cap after joining Hearts from CS Herediano on a season-long loan last month. The Edinburgh side have an option to buy the player permanently and will monitor his progress at club and international level in the months ahead.

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The 21-year-old had been in previous Costa Rica squads without making an appearance. This time he is in the reckoning to feature. The legendary Italian Roberto Mancini will take charge of Saudi Arabia for the first time tonight, but Vivas is determined that the Central Americans should focus on themselves.

They have been training this week in Newcastle ahead of the match at St James’ Park. “Having them [players] on a day-to-day basis shows different facets. I am pleasantly surprised with the level of all the players called up,” stated Vivas. “Co-existence is very good, everyone is heading towards the future, all parties are equal and we want everyone to be united in the same cause. We want the national team to be able to grow. The competition has been very good and that makes us very happy.

“We have been watching our rivals since July 24. It is worth mentioning that both teams have new coaches and we have seen the profile of each of them. What we need is to have a basic idea and that is what we have been working on these days, looking for the identity of our team.”

The experienced defender Francisco Calvo is convinced that players like Vargas leaving Costa Rica to join European clubs is a positive move. “That personally makes me happy, seeing young people going to Europe. It will be a benefit for the national team,” he said. “We are aware that, when the majority are from the local level, at international level it is different. We hope that this is reflected on the field.”

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