Robbie Neilson hopes to land Garang Kuol before facing St Mirren

New signing Yutaro Oda could feature on Friday evening.

Hearts hope to complete Garang Kuol deal before  St Mirren game, Yutaro Oda could face Buddies SNS Group

Hearts boss Robbie Neilson is hopeful the club can finalise a deal to sign Garang Kuol before they face St Mirren on Friday.

The teenage Australia international, who joined Newcastle United from Central Coast Mariners on New Years Day, travelled to Edinburgh earlier this week to meet with the club as Kuol and the Magpies considered a loan move.

The Edinburgh side look to have won the race to secure his signature and Neilson is optimistic that confirmation of his signing can be announced sooner rather than later.

“We’re just on the paperwork at the moment to try and get it done,” the manager said at Hearts’ pre-match press conference.

“I’ve no idea if it will be done by Friday. It would be great if we could but we’ll just need to wait and see.”

While it’s likely Kuol will be a Hearts player by the time Friday’s Premiership match kicks off, Neilson already has two new signings in his squad and both are available.

English defender James Hill has joined form Bournemouth, while Hearts also completed the signing of Yutaro Oda from Vissel Kobe.

Neilson can call on either or both to play St Mirren at Tynecastle but he was cautious about throwing his Japanese forward into the action too early.

“He looked alright today so we’ll see where he is over the next day or so,” the manager said. “He’s not played since the end of November so fitness-wise we need to develop him. It will be a gradual process to get him into the first team.

“It will take time for him to settle so we’ve got to be patient with him. We’ve got to make sure that firstly he’s ready to take to the pitch.

“We’re just trying to help him adapt to a new culture and a new side of the world, so I think it will take a bit of time, but he’s a football player and what he does on the pitch is the most important thing. We just have to make sure we help him out with that.”

The Hearts boss also confirmed that moves have been made for a further signing, with talks opened with Sheffield Wednesday over a return for Callum Paterson.

“The two sporting directors have spoken so we’re just waiting for a response,” said Neilson. “Callum’s contract is up at the end of the season so we’ve been speaking to him about his future. It’s down to Sheffield Wednesday now.”

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