Hearts set to offload striker as Juanma on way to Japan

Hearts are set to offload another unwanted player after Juanma agreed a move to Japan.

Hearts striker Juanma is wanted in Japan. Picture: SNS

The Spanish striker, who joined Murcia on loan earlier this season, is set to complete a transfer to Japanese second-tier side V-Varen Nagasaki.

The J2 League club announced on their official website that Juanma would sign for the club on Sunday, 8 January, following a medical.

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The 26-year-old, pictured, scored 13 goals for Hearts last season but lacked consistency and failed to impress then- manager Robbie Neilson when he repored back for pre-season trainer.

The permanent transfer could allow new head coach Ian Cathro more freedom to reshape his squad after recording only one win in his first five matches in charge and losing Callum Paterson to a serious knee injury.

He had already sent Tony Watt back early from a loan spell from Charlton.

Meanwhile, Cameroon have named Hearts midfielder Arnaud Djoum in their African Cup of Nations squad.

Djoum has made the final 23-man selection for the tournament in Gabon, which begins a week on Saturday and runs until 5 February. He will now miss Hearts’ Scottish Cup fourth-round tie against Raith Rovers on Sunday, 22 January. Depending how far Cameroon progress, he could also miss key league matches against Celtic (29 January), Rangers (1 February) and Motherwell (4 February).

The 27-year-old has won all three of his caps since joining the Edinburgh club in 2015. Although an influential player at Tynecastle, he was released for the African Cup of Nations with his club’s blessing. The Indomitable Lions are in Group A alongside the host nation, Burkina Faso and Guinea-Bissau.

Team-mate Faycal Rherras will not play in Gabon, having been omitted from Morocco’s squad.