Kyle Lafferty: 'My ideal move after leaving Rangers would be going back to Hearts'

Kyle Lafferty celebrates a goal for Hearts against Celtic. The Northern Irish striker has admitted he'd be keen to return to Tynecastle
Kyle Lafferty celebrates a goal for Hearts against Celtic. The Northern Irish striker has admitted he'd be keen to return to Tynecastle
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Kyle Lafferty has admitted he would jump at the chance to return to Hearts after seeing his second spell at Rangers turn sour.

The Northern Ireland striker enjoyed a prolific campaign in maroon two seasons ago, scoring 20 goals in 48 games after signing a two-year deal.

But two games into his second season, Rangers came calling and the 31-year-old quit Tynecastle to return to his boyhood heroes. He scored twice on his league debut in a 3-3 draw with Motherwell but found himself slipping down the pecking order behind Alfredo Morelos and Jermain Defoe. He featured 20 times for the Ibrox side, scoring four goals, but only eight of those appearances were starts.

He left the Gers by mutual consent on July 24 and is on the look-out for a new club - and the Jambos remain high on his list of preferred destinations.

Speaking to the Daily Record, the former Burnley and Norwich forward said: "I’m gutted it didn’t go well but I don’t have a bad word to say about Steven [Gerrard]. He gave me the opportunity to come back to the club.

“I’d like to stay in Scotland but I don’t know what to do. I’ve enjoyed playing abroad, I enjoy that type of football and the lifestyle of being abroad as my family would enjoy that but it’s not about just going somewhere hot and sunny.

“My preference would be to stay in the [Scottish] Premiership and my ideal move would be to go back to Hearts as I enjoyed my time there.

“People don’t realise how big a club they are but they are a terrific club who’ve signed Conor Washington - an international team-mate of mine. He’s someone who will score goals and that’s what Hearts need right now.

“I need to sit down and assess things and decide my next step. We’ll see what the next chapter is.”

Lafferty is also backing his former club to finally end Celtic's dominance in Scotland, and reckons the Light Blues can win the league title.

“We can definitely win the league and go on to win a cup. To qualify for the Europa League group stage would be massive as well," he added.

“We [reached the group stages] last season which was probably beyond everyone’s expectations, other than the manager’s.

“He’s laid the foundation for us to improve and with the players he’s signed, I’m excited as a fan.

“I’ll watch all the games I can and wherever I am or whatever club I’m with I hope to be free for the last game for Rangers and watch them lift the trophy. The fans deserve that after what they’ve been through.”