Hearts' deal for Mihai Popescu is 90 per cent done as player waits for Edinburgh flight
Transfer of Romanian defender edges closer
Romanian defender Mihai Popescu is waiting to fly to Edinburgh and sign for Hearts with 90 per cent of his transfer in place.
His club, Dinamo Bucharest, are close to signing off the deal with only a couple of issues still to be finalised.
Popescu has verbally agreed terms with Hearts and is willing to self-isolate for 14 days in Scotland to push the move through.
Romania is on the Scottish Government’s list of high-risk countries for coronavirus, but the 27-year-old sees the transfer as a chance to relaunch his career.
He is out of favour at Dinamo having been sent to train with the club’s reserve squad by new coach Cosmin Contra.
His contract runs until summer 2021 but the deal to take him to Hearts would be on a free transfer. He stands 6ft 2ins tall and can play as a right or left-sided centre-back.
Popescu is currently waiting on a call to head to the airport and begin a second spell in Scottish football.
He played 21 times on loan at St Mirren between January and May 2019, including in a 1-1 draw with Hearts at Tynecastle in February that year.
He helped the Paisley club overcome Robbie Neilson’s Dundee United in the play-offs that year as they retained their Premiership status.
Although St Mirren tried to extend the player’s stay in Scotland, they said talks collapsed because of unrealistic demands from the player’s agent.
Hearts want him to partner Craig Halkett in central defence when their competitive season starts next month. Both John Souttar and Christophe Berra are currently injured.
A message from the Editor: Thank you for reading this story on our website. While I have your attention, I also have an important request to make of you. The dramatic events of 2020 are having a major impact on many of our advertisers – and consequently the revenue we receive. We are now more reliant than ever on you taking out a digital subscription to support our journalism. Subscribe to the Edinburgh Evening News online and enjoy unlimited access to trusted, fact-checked news and sport from Edinburgh and the Lothians. Visit https://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/subscriptions now to sign up.