'My first option would be Hearts' - Kyle Lafferty eager for a Tynecastle return

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Kyle Lafferty is a free agent after leaving Norwegian side Sarpsborg 08

Kyle Lafferty had revealed he would "jump at the chance" to return to Hearts.

Kyle Lafferty is open to a return to Hearts despite reports otherwise. Picture: SNS

Kyle Lafferty is open to a return to Hearts despite reports otherwise. Picture: SNS

The Northern Irishman is a free agent after leaving Norwegian side Sarpsborg 08 having helped the team beat the Eliteserien drop.

Lafferty proved a popular figure with the Hearts fans during his time at Tynecastle, scoring 20 goals in 48 appearances, his last strike coming in a 1-0 win over Celtic.

He almost became the first Hearts striker to his 20 goals in a season since John Robertson in the early-90s when he struck 19 times in the 2017/2018 campaign.

It was reported that he would prefer a club abroad. Something, however, which the player disputes.

"My first option would be Hearts and I’ve said previously that I’d jump at the chance to go back," he told the Daily Record.

“I loved the time I had there, the fans were great with me and I have lots of friends there who I still keep in touch with. I’ve spoken with a few Hearts boys and had a few texts about what’s going on but everything is hypothetical as there has been no firm contact."

Lafferty made the move to Sarpsborg 08 after his return to Rangers didn't go the way he wanted, with Ibrox boss Steven Gerrard saying he had the opportunities to impress.

The 32-year-old said: “Playing in Norway allowed me to get back out onto the pitch and get game time, it was great to be playing regularly again. Now I need to move my career on and it’s the January window so I’ve ready for whatever challenge comes my way.

“Whether than can be at Hearts or elsewhere remains to be seen but hopefully I’ll have my future sorted in the coming weeks.

“I’ve been keeping myself fit and I’m ready to do a job so it’s an exciting time as I know I’ve got plenty to offer."