HEARTS director of football Craig Levein has admitted that the club are actively looking to bolster their attacking options with striker Osman Sow facing at least another five weeks on the sidelines.
It is understood the Championship leaders have already explored the possibility of bringing in a player on loan from a Premiership team as they look to keep their title charge on track over the festive period.
Leading scorer Sow, who has netted eight times so far this term, has not featured since the 26 October draw at rivals Hibs and Levein has taken to Twitter to clarify the severity of the Swede’s injury.
Hearts were without five first-team players for Saturday’s 4-1 win over Queen of the South, while Morgaro Gomis missed the game through suspension.
Head coach Robbie Neilson handed a full debut to 18-year-old forward Robbie Buchanan and Levein admits the Tynecastle outfit are keen to recruit another striker.
He said: “He [Sow] has a torn thigh muscle and will be out for at least another five weeks.
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“[Adding to the forward line is] something we are looking into at the moment. Would be a good time to enhance the squad.
“Well done to all who contributed to Saturday’s important victory against tough opponents. Fans, players, staff. Joint effort. Fantastic.
“Key players missing, young bench but substitutions had a positive impact. Well done Robbie, Stevie [Crawford, assistant coach] and those who went on.”
Neilson recently admitted that funds were available to add to his squad.
He said: “If there is somebody out there that I think is going to add to the squad then hopefully we will be able to do something.
“We’re definitely looking to add all the time.
“If somebody comes up January who I think is going to add value to us and make us a better team, then there would be funds there to bring them in.”
Striker Dale Carrick and midfielders Sam Nicholson and Jason Holt were among the players that missed the weekend’s win through injury but Neilson hopes to have the trio available for Saturday’s trip to Cowdenbeath.
He added: “We were really down to the bare bones against Queens but next week we’ll have Holt back, Carrick, Nicholson.”
Hearts could also be set to snap up young Torquay United defender Jake Hutchings, after he impressed on trial.
The 18-year-old was offered contracts from Manchester United and Chelsea a year ago, but opted to sign for English Conference Premier side Torquay because he thought he would gain more first-team experience. Hearts invited him for a week-long stint last month, but the trial had to be cut short when he injured himself.
However, he will return for another spell at Tynecastle later this month and Torquay boss Chris Hargreaves has revealed Hearts could snap him up.
He said: “Jake will go back to Hearts when he’s fit again.
“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.”
Torquay would be entitled to a fee for the central defender if Hearts offered him a permanent deal.
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