Ross County midfielder Yan Dhanda will be playing for Hearts next season after agreeing a pre-contract to join the Tynecastle club in the summer.
The 25-year-old’s Staggies deal expires at the end of the current campaign and the Jambos have moved quickly to secure his services.
Hearts are exploring the possibility of striking a deal to bring Dhanda to Edinburgh before the transfer window closes this week.
That scenario looks unlikely, however, as the Staggies – currently 11th in the cinch Premiership – are keen to keep hold of their playmaker for the remainder of the season to help them fight against relegation.
County chief executive Steven Ferguson has been quoted in local media in the Highlands as saying it will take “a spectacular offer” to land the former Swansea player this month.
Dhanda, who spent five years in Liverpool’s youth system, joined the Dingwall club from the Swans at the start of last season and has become a key player, scoring eight goals in 62 appearances.
The most recent of those strikes came against Hearts when he curled home a magnificent free-kick in a 2-2 draw at Tynecastle a month ago.
Hearts – who have been linked with a move for Livingston left-back James Penrice – have already signed right-back Dexter Lembikisa on loan for the remainder of the season, while they are still hoping Charlton will sanction a loan deal for midfielder Scott Fraser.
The in-form Jambos are 10 points clear in third place and firmly on course to qualify for Europe in Steven Naismith’s first full season in charge.