Kenneth Vargas to Hearts: Transfer fee, talks with Club Brugge, searing pace and a love of one-v-ones

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
Costa Rican is keen to move to Europe this summer.

Football fans often attach a certain romance to players from Latin America. The flair, fire and those glamorous-sounding names fuel a degree of mystique which Hearts supporters are now indulging in. Their club is in advanced talks to sign the Costa Rican forward Kenneth Vargas from SC Herediano, a burgeoning talent with all the potential to excite Gorgie natives.

Contract terms and a transfer fee have now been agreed verbally between Vargas, Herediano and Tynecastle officials. Once that paperwork is signed, a UK visa will be all that stands between the 21-year-old and a new career in Scotland. He is already generating considerable interest here.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Hearts followers are no strangers to the intrigue of players from Central and South America. Who could forget the escapades of Chilean playboy Mauricio Pinilla or the class of Brazilian midfielder Sammy Camazzola back in the 2000s. More recently, Brazilian defender Igor Rossi was also a popular figure in Edinburgh.

Vargas would be the first Costa Rican to don the Hearts maroon and possesses enough attributes to suggest he could become another favourite. Blistering pace is the most obvious. He operates as a left winger and centre-forward at Herediano and scored 10 goals in 41 league appearances in last season’s Costa Rican Primera Division. He also hit the post on three occasions. He loves running at defenders, dribbling at speed and taking on opponents in one-versus-one duels.

He finished the 2022/23 campaign third on the list of Primera Division dribblers with 168. On average, he takes on opponents six times per game using a burst of acceleration to scamper free. If this all sounds a bit Josh Ginnelly, it’s probably because it is. The Englishman played winger and striker for Hearts before leaving for Swansea City this summer and Vargas is the intended replacement.

How much will he cost? Vargas’ market value is around the £250,000 mark, but Hearts may need to pay slightly more than that including potential add-ons. Herediano gave him a new four-year contract earlier this year, knowing they would be able to sell inside the first 12 months. There has been interest from different clubs in Europe and talks took place with the Belgian side Club Brugge just last month.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Those did not reach a conclusion but Vargas is ready for a transfer to Europe, which he sees as the best way to further his international career. He played for Costa Rica Under-23s this summer and has been involved with the senior national team without winning a full cap as yet.

Hearts are working on a deal to sign Costa Rican forward Kenneth Vargas.Hearts are working on a deal to sign Costa Rican forward Kenneth Vargas.
Hearts are working on a deal to sign Costa Rican forward Kenneth Vargas.

Herediano have been preparing for his exit for some time. He had options to move last winter but decided to hold off in the hope that there would be even greater interest come the summer. He is described as an intelligent individual who emphasises sporting prowess over financial gain. Hence the refusal to make a potentially-hasty decision to move in the middle of last season.

The plan seems to have worked. It is now a case of when, not if, he leaves the club where he won the 2021/22 Costa Rican league title. Hearts are closing in on his signature and are now set to complete a deal which should rouse those who enjoy a touch of Latin American finesse.

Related topics: