Hearts defender Brad McKay looks set to be heading for the Tynecastle exit as fellow centre-half Jake Hutchings prepares to arrive.
St Johnstone are favourites to land McKay on a pre-contract this month despite interest from at least two other Premiership clubs.
With the player in the final six-months of his current deal, Saints have exercised their right to open talks with the 21-year-old.
McKay has made seven starts in a total of nine appearances for the Championship leaders this season.
Captain Danny Wilson and Alim Ozturk are head coach Robbie Neilson’s preferred central defensive pairing.
And in the wake of defender Jordan McGhee signing a new deal and with Hutchings expected to arrive after being released by Torquay United, it appears that McKay’s days at Tynecastle are coming to an end.
Hutchings has shown up well in a recent trial after his first training stint with Hearts in November came to an abrupt end when the 19-year-old dislocated a shoulder.
Described as a ball-playing centre-half, the teenager signed for English Conference Premier club Torquay two-years ago but has failed to make a single appearance for the Gulls.
Hutchings, who recently had a spell on loan at English Southern League side Frome Town, has acknowledged messages of congratulations over a move to Hearts on his Twitter account, but although Hearts are keen on the player, it is thought the defender is still to put pen to paper on terms.
Neilson sees Hutchings as one for the future and the Londoner will initially be part of Jack Ross’ Development squad.
Torquay manager Chris Hargreaves said: “Jake could go to Hearts as a development player, because they have the budget to keep a youngster on their books for a year or two and wait for him, while a club like ourselves struggles to do that.”
Hearts striker Osman Sow, meanwhile, will be handed his first run-out in nearly three months tonight as on over-age player when Hearts Under-20s take on Hibs’ young guns at Spartans’ Ainslie Park.
The eight-goal Swede has not played first-team football since the 26 October stoppage time draw with Hibs after tearing a thigh muscle.
Sow returned to the bench on Friday night when Hearts’ game against Rangers at Ibrox was abandoned after 25 minutes because of snow on the pitch.
Neilson said: “He’ll be involved in the under-20s game so he’ll get a run out in that, maybe for half an hour or so.”