Hearts have moved a step closer to the loan signing of young Japanese midfielder Ryotaro Meshino after he was granted a UK work permit.
The 21-year-old joined Manchester City from Gamba Osaka in his homeland this summer and the English Premier League champions are keen to immediately give the talented playmaker experience of football in Britain.
Any chances of the Jambos striking a deal for Meshino hinged on him being granted a work permit and now that obstacle has been cleared, Hearts will now hope to strike an agreement with City to bring him to Tynecastle for the 2019/20 campaign.
Hearts assistant manager Austin MacPhee - who speaks fluent Japanese - is reported to have been in attendance at the work permit hearing to strengthen Meshino's case.
Hearts will now accelerate negotiations with their Manchester counterparts in the hope of completing the loan before their Ladbrokes Premiership match against Celtic on Sunday, August 25.