HEARTS winger Andy Driver is due to fly to America today to complete a transfer to the Major League Soccer club Houston Dynamo.
The Evening News can reveal a deal has been agreed between the clubs that will see Hearts release one of their highest earners and give Driver an opportunity to relaunch his career in the United States.
The player is to sign the final paperwork and undergo a medical in Texas before formally joining Houston. The MLS transfer window is open until mid-April and Driver could make his debut on Saturday week, when the 2013 MLS season begins with Dynamo facing DC United at their 22,000-capacity BBVA Compass Stadium. The 25-year-old’s departure will see Hearts save a considerable amount in wages, as Driver’s earnings amounted to around £10,000 a week.
Tynecastle officials need to reduce costs ahead of the summer and, with Driver out of contract in June, they have agreed to let him move on.
Dominic Kinnear, Houston Dynamo’s Glasgow-born coach, has tracked the player for some time and believes he can thrive in the American league.
Driver has flitted in and out of the Hearts team this season and was expected to leave as a free agent at the end of the campaign.
Born in Oldham, he has been with the Edinburgh club since high school and made his senior debut in August 2006, scoring in a 4-1 win over Inverness Caledonian Thistle. He represented England at the 2009 European Under-21 Championship and, the following year, Hearts rejected offers of more than
£3 million from Burnley and the Dutch club FC Twente for his services.
The winger then endured two years of seemingly relentless injury problems but recovered to inscribe his name in Tynecastle folklore last may as part of the team which defeated Hibs 5-1 in the Scottish Cup final.
Despite playing for England Under-21s, Driver is eligible to represent Scotland at international level, due to the act that he has completed more than five years’ schooling north of the Border.
Meanwhile, Hearts Under-20s are in action tonight against Kilmarnock at Riccarton.
Kick-off is 7pm and the game is free for all to watch.