Hearts close in on Juanma signing

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BY ALAN TEMPLE – CAPITAL  CITY PRESS

Hearts director of football Craig Levein is adamant Blazej Augustyn has all the attributes to fill the void left by Danny Wilson – as the Jambos close in on Spanish striker Juanma.

The Gorgie outfit fought off competition from the likes of Legia Warsaw and Polish champions Lech Poznan for the towering centre-half, who boasts Serie A pedigree from his spell with Italian outfit Catania.

Augustyn, 27, is Robbie Neilson’s first summer signing as Hearts prepare for a tilt at the top-six on their return to the Ladbrokes Premiership.

And, taking to Twitter to laud the ex-Poland under-21 international, Levein could not contain his satisfaction at getting the deal over the line.

“Delighted to have Blazej on board,” said the former Scotland manager. “Brings more pace and power to the back line. Good passer of the ball too.”

Augustyn’s arrival is set to herald a swathe of business by the capital club, with three new signings in their sights.

Hearts had hoped to formally unveil Queen of the South striker Gavin Reilly last Thursday but, after a hold-up with the formalities, that is now likely to happen this week.

Meanwhile, the Jambos are nearing a deal to snap up 24-year-old forward Juanma. Robbie Neilson met with the six-foot-two Spaniard’s representatives in his homeland earlier this month and the player is understood to be open to a move to Hearts.

The switch is complicated by the fact Juanma, who was on the books of Levante at the same time as current Tynecastle star Miguel Pallardo, recently signed a new deal with Greek club Kalloni.

However, with an ongoing dispute between the player and the club, Hearts are confident the contract can be annulled. The former Alaves and Asteras Tripoli man is expected to arrive in Edinburgh early this week to complete his move.

Hearts are also targeting a new left-back following the summer departure of Adam Eckersley.

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