BY ALAN TEMPLE – CAPITAL CITY PRESS
Blazej Augustyn turned down a crack at the Champions League to become Hearts’ first summer signing.
The 27-year-old was on the books of Gornik Zabrze in his homeland last term, scoring two goals in 18 outings, and he will arrive at Tynecastle subject to international clearance.
It is understood Hearts fought off competition from the likes of Legia Warsaw and newly-crowned Polish champions Lech Poznan, who will enter the Champions League at the second qualifying phase next term, to secure the signature of the powerful defender.
Augustyn was on the books of Bolton Wanderers as a youngster but failed to make a first-team appearance, returning to Poland to join Legia in 2007. Two years later he moved to Italy, turning out for Rimini, Catania – where he played under current Atletico Madrid gaffer Diego Simeone – and Vicenza.
As well as Serie A experience, he also boasts three caps for Poland’s under-21 side.
The capital club see the signing as a major coup as they look to replace departed skipper Danny Wilson and back-up centre-half Brad McKay ahead of their return to the Scottish Premiership.
On a busy day for the Jambos, they also added young defender Jahmal Howlett-Mundle from Crystal Palace.
The rangy 18-year-old will initially join up with Jack Ross’ development squad in Gorgie.