New Hearts midfielder Perry Kitchen has revealed Jurgen Klinsmann sold him on a move to Tynecastle.
The American is in line to make his debut for Robbie Neilson’s side at Dundee tomorrow having signed a two-and-half-year deal following four years with MLS outfit DC United.
And Kitchen admits a conversation with his national team coach convinced him that he was making the right move after German World Cup winner Klinsmann spoke glowingly of the Gorgie outfit.
Kitchen said: “Before I made the move I spoke with Jurgen Klinsmann and he was very supportive.
“He said that Hearts are a great side and that, ‘it will be a great move for you’.
“He knew a lot about Hearts, I was very impressed. He said great things about how it’s run and how the team are doing. It was very positive and encouraging.
“He was the most encouraging person I spoke to in terms of his support about this decision.
“Hearing that confirmed my initial feelings that I had about coming here. When you have his support, you have to take into account.
“I already knew about Hearts. If you play soccer you know who Hearts are.
“I had to research the finer details but my agent also used to represent Carlos Bocanegra and Maurice Edu, who were at Rangers.
“They loved their time here and that was very encouraging for me to hear.
“My agent initially brought it to my attention about a month ago and the more I looked into it, everything lined up in what I want out of the club.”
The USA internationalist admits he turned down a bumper contract in the MLS to pursue his dream of playing in Europe.
He added: “It wasn’t about the money, if it was I wouldn’t be here.
“It’s about the opportunity, it’s about bettering myself and my career and seeing how far I can take it. That was the basis behind my decision.
“The MLS and DC United have been great to me but there’s just something about being in Europe.
“My international aspirations are important but it’s about growing my career and continuing to better myself as a player. I think this is a great place for me to do that.”
Kitchen is set to be included in Neilson’s squad for the trip to Dens Park and will be hoping to end a whirlwind week on a high.
He added: “It’s been a bit crazy with the traveling back and forth and getting all the appropriate documents for my passport, but it’s been very a enjoyable experience so far.
“I arrived back in on Wednesday, I flew through the night.
“I had to go to New York and the British consulate to get everything sorted.
“My wife and I have just got a flat and we’re looking forward to enjoying the soccer and the city.”