Osman Sow on radar as Hearts try to recruit ‘two or three’

Hearts are considering bringing back Osman Sow on loan. Picture: Alan Harvey/SNS
Hearts are considering bringing back Osman Sow on loan. Picture: Alan Harvey/SNS
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Hearts are considering a move to bring former striker Osman Sow back to Tynecastle as they look to plug the gap left by Kyle Lafferty.

Manager Craig Levein is also trying to accelerate the acquisition of Czech player David Vanecek, who has already signed a pre-contract, before the current transfer window closes but has stated that he has other options to explore if FK Teplice force him to wait until January.

The Tynecastle club are moving swiftly to replace Lafferty, who finally completed his switch to Ibrox on Wednesday, and Sow travelled to the capital yesterday to discuss a potential loan deal.

The Swedish striker, who is currently under contract at MK Dons, was a popular figure during his first spell at Hearts. He arrived in 2014 and quickly won over the Gorgie fans with a winning goal against Rangers on his league debut. In total he netted 23 goals in 52 games before being sold to Chinese club Henan Jianye for more than 
£1 million in 2016.

Levein has stated that he still intends to add two or three more to a squad that has already undergone a massive overhaul this summer and Sow, 28, would bring the promise of goals and an understanding of how the club works and the pressure of playing in front of the home support.

Levein is also looking for players who want to be at the club, after Lafferty made it clear that his heart lay elsewhere.

“He told me 123 times he wanted to play for Rangers!” joked Levein. “He just said he wanted to go. It doesn’t always mean that happens. But if we get good value out of the deal that’s better than someone sitting in the building who feels they had an opportunity to go back to the club he loved as a boy and all the rest of it, which can sometimes cause

difficulties.

“The important thing for me is I think we got a good deal – and they have strengthened their team when they play Celtic!

“When Kyle arrived here he came with the intention of being here for a season and then moving on for a transfer fee. That was the agreement we had at the beginning. We were there to help him get back on track. He was there to help us score goals. And I think it has been a good situation for everyone.

“So I feel good about it. It’s not like I am jumping up and down about Kyle leaving but if he had wanted to leave last season when he and Steven Naismith were the only two strikers we had, and Naisy plays a lot of the time in the wider areas or off up front, then that would have been a problem for us.

“But we have got Uche Ikpeazu (above), we have got Steven MacLean and Steven Naismith and I am going to bring at least another one in.

“We were prepared for this scenario. Kyle is a popular figure with our supporters and me, but the situation has resolved itself in the way we all envisaged when we first sat down last summer.”

He said that the money made on the Lafferty deal, combined with the ongoing backing of club owner Ann Budge, would facilitate the recruiting of reinforcements in attack, as well as defence.

Burnley’s Jimmy Dunne was brought in on a six-month loan deal earlier this week and will offer defensive cover for the weekend trip to Kilmarnock but, with injuries to Christophe Berra and Aaron Hughes, Levein is unlikely to stop there.

“There will be another two or three, I would think,” he said, “which I feel good about. We’re fighting on a couple of fronts, financially. But Ann has been hugely supportive, which I think you can see from what we’ve done. Kyle going will allow us to do a little bit more as well.”