Hearts striker David Vanecek leaves Tynecastle

David Vanecek's Hearts nightmare is over as he leaves Tynecastle
David Vanecek's Hearts nightmare is over as he leaves Tynecastle
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Czech forward David Vanecek's miserable time at Hearts is over after he negotiated his release from the Edinburgh club.

The 28-year-old leaves by mutual consent six months after arriving on a pre-contract agreement from FK Teplice.

In that time, he made just seven appearances in maroon - four starts and three as a substitute - but his fitness was openly criticised by club management.

Vanecek's contract was due to run until summer 2020 but both parties agreed to sever ties to let the striker move back to Europe and play more regularly.

A number of Slovakian and Czech sides are interested in signing him, while Puskas Akademia in Hungary is also a possibility. They are coached by Vanecek's fellow Czech, Zsoly Hornyak.

Vanecek's departure creates space in Hearts' first-team squad ahead of pre-season, with manager Craig Levein keen to sign two new strikers. Steven Naismith's permanent move from Norwich City is expected to go through and another forward could join him.

Nonetheless, confirmation of Vanecek's exit brings to an end an awkward situation for all concerned.

He was heralded as a major signing after initially agreeing a pre-contract with Hearts last summer. He joined at the start of this year in poor physical condition after holidaying over Christmas.

That led to Levein substituting the player 34 minutes into his league debut against Dundee on January 23 before criticising him in the media. Vanecek started just two more matches for Hearts thereafter, and his last appearance came on March 16 at Hamilton.