Hearts will embark on their Championship season without Sean Clare after the 23-year-old agreed terms to join Oxford United.
The League One side had been one of several clubs showing interest in the youngster who signed for Hearts early in the 2018/19 season. He made over 50 appearances for the club and scored seven goals, despite spending much of last term operating as an auxiliary right-back. One of those efforts came in the 3-1 derby win over Hibs in March.
After a troubled start to his Capital career, the young midfielder had won over much of the support and new manager Robbie Neilson had made it clear that he saw him operating in a more advanced position.
But, with interest from several clubs, the former Sheffield Wednesday midfielder has opted for a return south. Oxford are understood to have won over the club and player with a six-figure deal.
That means Clare’s departure will free up finances for Neilson as he looks to bring in his own players ahead of the promotion challenge. More comings and goings are anticipated in the coming days and weeks as Hearts step up attempts to land former Motherwell winger Elliott Frear, who has been training with the Gorgie club this week.