Nade signs to boost Tynecastle strike force

HEARTS have bolstered their attack with the capture of striker Christian Nade from Sheffield United on a three-year contract.

The Tynecastle side have scored just two goals in their opening four league matches but hope the arrival of the French forward will increase their potency in front of goal. Hearts are believed to have paid around 500,000 for the 6ft, 12st 8lb 23-year-old..

Nade is a former French Under-21 international and scored three league goals for United last season, including the winner against Arsenal at Bramall Lane. He could not prevent the Yorkshire club being relegated from the Premiership, however.

Hearts assistant head coach Stephen Frail told "He is a good young striker with an excellent pedigree. His signing provides added competition within the squad, not least in an area where we were keen to strengthen before the close of the transfer window."

Hearts could also be losing a striker, with Roman Bednar in talks over a loan move to West Bromwich Albion.

Injury has prevented Bednar from playing this season, but West Brom manager Tony Mowbray is an admirer of the Czech Republic international.

Earlier in the day, Hearts completed deals for the French goalkeeper Anthony Basso and the former Hibernian midfielder Elias Wagner.

While former Auxerre goalkeeper Basso's signing was not unexpected after arriving at Tynecastle on trial last month, 16-year-old Austrian Wagner left Easter Road 11 days ago for what Hibs called "personal reasons".

Basso, 27, has signed a two-year deal at Tynecastle. He never played a first-team game in two spells with Auxerre and failed to make the breakthrough following a switch to Udinese. But he rejuvenated his career after moving to Viking Stavanger in 2004 before rejoining the French club last summer and now hopes to establish himself as the long-term replacement for Craig Gordon.

Wagner goes into the Tynecastle Under-19 squad after penning a three-year contract - the same length of time he had committed himself to Hibs earlier this summer.

The youngster seemed destined to return to Austria when his Hibs contract was dissolved. But Hearts academy director John Murray said: "We are delighted to bring him in. We have watched him over a period of time.

"We were aware that the boy had not settled at Hibs and so we made enquiries."

Wagner added: "It feels good to be here. I have had a warm welcome from everyone and I am sure that this move will be good for my career. I am sure being at Hearts will help me develop and mature as a player."

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