BY ALAN TEMPLE – @CCP_Sport
Hearts director of football Craig Levein has revealed that Osman Sow could play against Hibernian – despite the towering Swede being on the verge of a £1.5 million switch to China.
The 25-year-old was in the Far East yesterday putting the final touches to a lucrative switch to Henan Jianye, who also snapped up Ryan McGowan for £300,000 from Dundee United during January.
With the Chinese transfer window open until February 25, the Superleague outfit are in no rush to push through the deal and Sow – whose Hearts contract expires in June – will undergo a medical this week.
Sow is expected to jet back from Beijing prior to Sunday’s crunch Scottish Cup fifth round against the Hibees – and Levein insists the player could feature at Tynecastle.
However, Hearts are likely to carefully weigh the benefits of Sow participating against the danger of him suffering an injury which could scupper a seven-figure deal.
Levein tweeted: “Osman medical today/tomorrow, will know tomorrow if deal going through, Can play Sunday if needed. Part of deal.”
Meanwhile, Hearts new boy John Souttar, who was an unused substitute for United against Airdrie in the Scottish Cup fourth round, is eligible to make his debut against the Hibees this weekend.
There was initial doubt regarding his availability, with Levein even telling one supporter on Twitter that the Scotland under-21 internationalist would be unable to feature.
However, a Scottish Football Association spokesperson yesterday confirmed that Souttar is NOT cup-tied and could go straight into the Jambos’ squad.
The official rules state that only players who have featured “as one of the 11 first-named players or as a fielded substitute” in a previous round are cup-tied for the remainder of the competition.