Hearts are poised to bag Craig Beattie

HEARTS were today working to finalise the signing of Scotland international striker Craig Beattie, with Tynecastle officials hopeful of concluding a deal within the next 24 hours.

Beattie attended the club’s Riccarton training base yesterday and was expected to train there this morning ahead of his anticipated signing on a deal until the end of the season. The 28-year-old was pursued by Kilmarnock, St Johnstone and St Mirren but has told Hearts he wants to relaunch his career there following his release from Swansea City.

The move must be sanctioned by Vladimir Romanov, Hearts’ majority shareholder, and the club’s board before it can be formally announced. The Evening News has learned that directors have now ratified the deal and it should be confirmed after formalities are completed.

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Provided he proves his fitness, Beattie could come into contention for Saturday’s match with Dundee United at Tynecastle. His last game was on loan for Watford against Ipswich on December 3 last year so he would be unlikely to play from the start.

Meanwhile, Hearts midfielder David Obua has announced his retirement from international football in a letter to the Ugandan Football Association. He has not represented his country since being expelled from the Ugandan squad before an African Nations Cup qualifier with Kenya last October. In the letter, Obua said he wanted “to allow upcoming youngsters a chance to show what they can do and for me to concentrate on my club football career.” He continued: “To the fans, you have been great and to all the coaches I have worked under, thank you for who I am. I have given my all and where it has not been good enough, I’m only human.”