Hearts: Mehdi Taouil all set to sign on at Tynecastle

MEHDI TAOUIL has chosen Hearts over several European clubs and, pending satisfactory medical results, was due at Tynecastle today to sign a three-year contract. However, Zander Diamond's prospective move to Edinburgh is all but off.

Hearts were informed yesterday that Taouil is keen to be reunited with his former Kilmarnock management team of Jim Jefferies and Billy Brown. He is expected to formally complete his move to Tynecastle on freedom of contract after a period of deliberation whilst he pondered his future.

Several continental clubs were keen on the Moroccan internationalist and he had considered returning abroad after four years at Rugby Park, with France one of the options available. But Hearts have won the race for his signature after recruiting John Sutton, Jamie Hamill and Danny Grainger.

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Diamond had been poised to join that crop of new faces as another of the SPL's free agents but Hearts remain concerned over his long-term fitness. Scans on the player's ankle are not to the club's satisfaction and they are now unlikely to proceed with his transfer from Aberdeen.

Meanwhile, Hearts' appeal against their record 100,000 fine for indiscipline will be heard under the SFA's old rules. The punishment was issued by the governing body's disciplinary committee, which is now due to be disbanded. However, an appeals panel will sit for probably the last time to judge whether to rethink the sanction. Thereafter, sweeping changes will take effect as voted through at the recent AGM.

An SFA spokesman said: "Going forward there won't be an appeals board as such, but because the matter is outstanding from the old committee structure it would rule in this case."