China-bound Ryan McGowan out of showdown

HEARTS will have to face Hibs without Ryan McGowan tomorrow night because the Tynecastle side can’t afford to jeopardise the player’s move to China.

The Gorgie club have accepted an offer of around £400,000 for the player from an unnamed Chinese side and the Tynecastle club, whose financial woes have been well-documented in recent months, do not want to risk one of the prize assets being injured in the Edinburgh derby.

Hearts agreed a fee with the mystery Asian outfit yesterday and the Evening News understands that Australian McGowan has not trained with the rest of his team-mates following the bid being accepted. If McGowan, 23, moves to the Far East, the deal would earn him a windfall of £1.6 million over two years. He is likely to fly out to China before the end of the week to discuss the move in more detail and have a medical.

Third Division Rangers, 
however, are also believed to still be interested in the versatile player, who they were just minutes away from signing on transfer deadline day back in August.

McGowan joined Hearts back in 2006 and spent time on loan at Ayr and Partick before 
establishing himself at 
Tynecastle. He scored in the Jambos’ 5-1 win over Hibs in last year’s Scottish Cup final.