BY ALAN TEMPLE – Capital City Press
Hearts have been told they will need to shell out around £350,000 for highly-rated Bulgarian midfielder Milen Gamakov.
However, the player’s agent is adamant the Premiership leaders remain interested in the Botev Plovdiv starlet.
The Jambos have already seen one bid for the 21-year-old knocked back, after reportedly offering £100,000 plus a 20 per cent sell-on fee.
Gamakov, who was runner-up in the for the Young Player of the Year award in his homeland last season, is also thought to be attracting interest from Italian Serie A outfit Palermo.
He has one year left to run on his contract and Plovdiv, who are in a precarious financial position, are keen to cash in one one of their prize assets during this transfer window.
Nevertheless, Hearts have been informed by Plovdiv officials that they will need to substantially up their offer, with a fee of €500,000 (£350,000) quoted by sources in Bulgaria.
“The offer has not been accepted, but Hearts have not given up,” confirmed Gamakov’s representative, Milen Georgiev. “There is also interest from other teams.”
The playmaker, who cuts an imposing figure at 6ft 2in, is considered one of the most promising talents in Bulgarian football and has represented his country at every youth level up to under-21.
He received his maiden call-up for the senior side last November for their Euro 2016 qualifier against Malta, but was an unused substitute for the encounter which ended 1-1.
Hearts have already shown a willingness to cast their net far and wide for new signings this term, snapping up Juanma Delgado, Igor Rossi, Blazej Augustyn and Juwon Oshaniwa.