BY ALAN TEMPLE – @CCP_Sport
Hearts’ bid to sign USA international Perry Kitchen will drag on until at least next week as the Jambos navigate a wealth of red tape.
Kitchen has verbally agreed a two-and-a-half year contract with the capital club following his decision to quit DC United at the end of the Major League Soccer season in December.
The 24-year-old is currently in Scotland and has been at Hearts’ Riccarton training base this week as he prepares to compete a move to Robbie Neilson’s Europa League hopefuls.
Neilson was keen to bring Kitchen to the club in time to face Partick Thistle on Saturday as the Jambos aim to heap the pressure on Aberdeen in the chase for second spot, however that plan has been dashed by paperwork delays.
While the player will have no problem attaining a work permit for the move, there are still formalities to be ironed out. The process of freeing Kitchen’s registration will also take time, with every player in the MLS contracted to the league, rather than any individual club.
It is understood that the earliest Hearts expect a deal to be concluded is the end of next week, while it could potentially take even longer to get the signing formally over the line.
Nevertheless, the Tynecastle outfit are confident the tough tackling midfielder, who has turned out for Jurgen Klinsmann’s national side three times in the past 13 months, will be worth the wait.
Kitchen was named DC United’s most valuable player in 2013 and was courted by clubs in Denmark and Germany before agreeing to make the switch to the Scottish capital.
He will become Hearts’ ninth signing of the season, adding to the captures of Blazej Augustyn, Arnaud Djoum, Juwon Oshaniwa, Igor Rossi, Juanma, Don Cowie, John Souttar and Abiola Dauda.
Kitchen’s arrival also casts doubts over the future of fellow defensive midfielder Miguel Pallardo, who is out of contract in the summer.