Breaking: Hearts closing in on deal to sign £24,000 per week ex-Scotland international

Breaking: Hearts closing in on deal to sign £24,000 per week ex-Scotland international

The former Scotland international is out of contract with the demoted Blades and might be available as a free agent this summer.

Summer has arrived, and the transfer rumour mill is in full swing. Ryan Stevenson has revealed information about a popular narrative involving Hearts.

The ex-Jambos player claims to have heard rumors about a surprise move north of the border for ex-Scotland international Oli McBurnie. The former £20 million striker is dragging his toes on a new deal with demoted Sheffield United as he considers his future. Despite criticism, 27-year-old McBurnie has scored over 100 goals in little over 300 games.

Despite finishing bottom of the Premier League, McBurnie ended the season as the Blades’ equal top scorer with six goals, including scores against Manchester United and Chelsea. However, the former Swansea City and Barnsley forward could soon become a free agent as he decides whether or not to extend his five-year contract at Bramall Lane.

Stevenson has heard whispers linking the out-of-contract frontman with an unlikely move to Tynecastle. While McBurnie’s pay demands would undoubtedly blow the Gorgie side out of the water, the former attacker reckons it’s the type of marquee signing that Steven Naismith should be looking for.

According to him, the’silly season’ is aptly named. The domestic action has concluded, and with players, managers, and agents all away on a beach somewhere, no one is available to quell the wild transfer rumours. And there are enough of them already in the Premiership. Some will have substance, while others will be Jackanory.

“But if the rumour that Hearts have signed Oli McBurnie turns out to be true, I’d be overjoyed. Listen, that could turn out to be more nonsense than a Tory election pledge, but that is exactly the type of player Hearts should have after this summer.

“He is out of contract at Sheffield United and looking to move on, so why shouldn’t Steven Naismith try to get him to Tynecastle? He has the allure of European football, a fantastic stadium, some of the greatest training facilities in the country, and the support of a devoted crowd to give the former £20 million player.

“I feel it’s a compelling offer that will appeal to a large number of players. I just hope club executives are thinking along the same lines when it comes to making a big signing.”

With Lawrence Shankland in the final year of his Hearts contract and hinting at a summer departure, Stevenson believes a proven goalscorer like McBurnie would be an ideal replacement for the 31-goal striker.

He added: “I’d be looking for a striker who is a little more dynamic up front, with the legs and strength to provide us an out ball if we find ourselves penned in once we get into those Euro games. I believe McBurnie meets the requirements, but with the money swirling around down south, he won’t come cheap. Of course, many skeptics will dismiss Oli.

“For some reason, the Tartan Army has never warmed to him, possibly because he is open about his affinity for Rangers. But I’d have him right here in a second. If you are a bad player, you will not spend the most of your career in the Premier League or the top tier of England’s Championship.

“He’s had a difficult year with Sheffield United, but whenever the Blades posed a danger, it was with Oli in the lineup. If Hearts want to compete in Europe and remain Scotland’s third force, they must have a large number of players. Anyone who claims otherwise is just being foolish.”


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