Hearts have agreed a six-figure deal with Genoa to bring winger David Milinkovic back to Tynecastle Park. They also secured Aaron Hughes on another one-year deal and will sign the Austrian centre-back Peter Haring this week.
Milinkovic spent last season on loan in Edinburgh and became hugely popular with supporters. He is now set to return in a permanent transfer, provided he agrees personal terms on a proposed long-term contract.
Genoa initially quoted Hearts £600,000 for the Frenchman but it is understood that the fee agreed is less than that amount and will be paid in instalments.
The 24-year-old’s endeavour and attacking play endeared him to fans in Gorgie during his season-long loan. He scored six times in 26 appearances and many Hearts supporters are eager to see him in maroon again next season.
After negotiating a deal with Genoa, Hearts are hoping contract talks with Milinkovic and his representatives run smoothly to finalise his return.
The veteran Northern Ireland defender Hughes will continue playing next season after spending weeks deliberating over his future. The 38-year-old’s decision gives the Edinburgh club four centre-backs for the new campaign, with Haring due to sign in the coming days.
Haring, 25, has arrived in Edinburgh and passed a medical after leaving SV Ried in his homeland. He invoked a release clause in his Ried contract after they failed to secure promotion and has now agreed terms to become Hearts’ ninth new signing.
Hughes considered retiring but chose to continue playing for another 12 months. He penned a new contract yesterday and is expected to eventually retire next summer.
He told HeartsTV: “I needed a little bit of time to figure out if I was able to do another year, mentally and physically. I came to the decision that I’d like to stay on and I’m very grateful to the club for giving me the opportunity.
“When I say it was an easy decision, once I’d come to the decision to play, it wasn’t hard to have a chat with the gaffer and say I wanted to stay on.
“I’ve enjoyed my 18 months here immensely. The club has been great with me since I came back from abroad.”