HEARTS captain Marius Zaliukas is praying his childhood friend Arturas Rimkevicius won’t have his dream move to Edinburgh wrecked by the club’s transfer embargo.
Rimkevicius, a 29-year-old striker who scored 41 goals in 38 appearances for FK Siauliai last season, has been on trial at Riccarton for the past two weeks with a view to signing for Hearts in January.
The SFA, however, this week imposed an indefinite signing ban on the Tynecastle club for failing to pay players’ bonuses and appearances on time, although Hearts have vowed to contest the embargo on the basis that they feel there is no set date for the payment of such monies.
In the meantime, Rimkevicius has been left in a state of limbo, unaware whether the move for which he has been preparing will be allowed to go through.
Zaliukas, who is currently providing his fellow Lithuanian with accommodation during his trial spell at the club, admitted the hitman remains in the dark about what will happen after the club were hit with the shock news of the embargo on Thursday.
The skipper is desperate to see the situation resolved soon, so his boyhood mate can come in and beef up Hearts’ strikeforce.
“Arturas heard everything for himself [when the rest of the squad were informed] and he doesn’t know what is going to happen,” said Zaliukas, “but for now he is working on his fitness and to get ready. He’s trying to concentrate on his football and trying to convince the manager he is good enough to start games if it happens. We will have to wait and see what happens though.”
Zaliukas has no doubt his friend would be an asset to Hearts if he gets the go-ahead to sign. “We grew up together in a football sense since we were eight years old,” he added. “He would make a difference to us because he’s a natural striker, he has the ability to score goals. If we are going to create chances, he will score goals.”