Hearts have completed the signing of centre-back Frankie Kent from Peterborough after fending off an attempt to hijack the deal by a cinch Premiership rival.
The 27-year-old former Arsenal youth player has signed a three-year contract after Peterborough received an undisclosed fee.
Hearts say they saw off some “stiff, late opposition” to sign the former Colchester player, who joined Posh in 2019 and made 170 appearances, helping the club to promotion to the Championship in 2021 and the League One play-offs last season.
Sporting director Joe Savage told the Hearts website: “We’ve said all along that we’ll be patient to make sure we get the right players in and Frankie certainly fits the bill.
“It’s also pleasing that he remained committed to joining us despite another Scottish club trying to get involved late on and I suppose we should take it as a compliment that our recruitment strategy is being mimicked elsewhere.”
Technical director Steven Naismith added: “We identified Frankie as a player who could come in and improve the team so we’re delighted to get him in.
“He was a big part of Peterborough’s recent success in winning promotion and we believe that he can make himself a success at Tynecastle Park.
“He is an aggressive centre-half in the way that he defends and starts phases of play and his leadership skills stand out.
“He was very keen to come to Hearts and take the next step in his career, so it’s a great move all round.”