Hearts snatch Bikey

Hearts have signed striker Dylan Bikey after the 21-year-old scored nine goals in as many games for Stirling.

The Frenchman, who joined the League Two side in November after leaving Dieppe, could make his debut in Sunday’s Ladbrokes Premiership encounter at Celtic Park.

Bikey told his new club’s website: “This is a new challenge for me. It’s a big club with a big stadium and it’s a Premiership team, so I’m very happy to play for Hearts.

“It’s a very big opportunity for me. This is my first time at a full-time professional club so it’s a good opportunity for me.

“I enjoyed my time at Stirling Albion. I had good moments with them and I’d like to thank them and their fans for helping me when I first came to Scotland.

“Playing in the lower leagues has been hard. But I will try every day, I will learn and it’s good for me.

“I’m very excited to play in front of thousands of Hearts fans and I hope to score goals for them, and make them happy.”

Head coach Ian Cathro earlier claimed Hearts were no further forward in their pursuit of former St Mirren forward Esmael Goncalves, although he also said he did not expect any new signings before Sunday just 90 minutes before Bikey’s arrival was confirmed.

The Edinburgh club are believed to be closing in on a £170,000 deal for Anorthosis Famagusta forward Goncalves, who previously worked with Cathro at Portuguese side Rio Ave. But the former St Mirren player is unlikely to arrive until Monday with Anorthosis trying to sign a replacement before allowing him to leave.

Cathro’s team came through a William Hill Scottish Cup scare against Raith Rovers on Wednesday, coming from behind to secure a 4-2 extra-time win and set up a fifth-round derby against Hibernian.

It was only Cathro’s second win in seven matches in charge but he is targeting another victory at Celtic Park on Saturday as the champions bid to break their own 50-year-old record of going the first 26 matches of the domestic season unbeaten.

“We will expect to be able to do that,” he said. “It’s up to us to determine exactly what way that will be and to do a little bit of work.

“Obviously it’s difficult given we had a busy week and a big effort that we are still recovering and resting from. But we have time to prepare properly and we will be ready to go and fight.

“It’s the best team in the country, that’s clear, and naturally that becomes a great challenge but also a really good opportunity for us to go and play and fight to win the game, the same way we would against any opponent.

“Of course we respect it’s difficult but we will go and try to win the game.”

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