Two new arrivals at Hearts as defender checks out

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Hearts have completed the signing of striker David Vanecek on an initial 18 month deal and recruited Leeds United defender Conor Shaughnessy on loan from Leeds United until the end of the season.

Vanecek has finally made the switch from Teplice in his native Czech Republic after agreeing a pre-contract last July. Hearts also have the option to extend the deal beyond summer 2020.

The 27-year-old scored a total of 26 goals, including seven this term, in two-and-a-half years with the Czech top-flight club.

Vanecek trained with his new team-mates for the first time yesterday and will be part of the squad that flies out to Spain today for a winter-training camp.

He will also be joined on the trip by Shaughnessy after the out-of-favour Leeds player linked up with the club as a replacement for Jimmy Dunne, who has returned to Burnley following a successful loan spell.

A Hearts spokesperson said: “Hearts have completed the signing of Czech striker David Vanecek.

“The 27-year-old arrives at Tynecastle on an 18-month deal with an option to extend, after his contract at Czech First League side FK Teplice expired.

“Craig Levein has made his second signing of the January transfer window with the addition of Conor Shaughnessy.

“The 22-year-old defender joins Hearts on loan until the end of the season from EFL Championship side Leeds United, subject to international clearance.”

Speaking recently about Vanecek, Levein said: “The guys we have up front just now all offer something different and David is different again. 

“He is a proper number nine, quick, powerful and he is a good finisher. 

“He has had a good start to the season and is fit.”

Shaughnessy joined Leeds from Reading in 2016 but has struggled for regular game time, with his only appearance this season coming in last August’s Carabao Cup loss to Preston.

Shaughnessy tweeted: “Delighted to have signed for Hearts til the end of the season.”

The player has big boosts to fill with his fellow Irishman Dunne having made a lasting impression at Tynecastle and even earning his first call up to his country’s full squad in November.

Hearts reluctantly confirmed the departure of Dunne yesterday after failing to reach a deal with the Clarets to extend the player’s loan agreement. 

Dunne, who had not played since November 24 after sustaining an ankle injury, impressed in his 14 appearances for the club after initially being recruited last August following injury to captain Christophe Berra.

However, Levein wasted no time in identifying Shaughnessy, the younger brother of St Johnstone captain Joe, as a player to bolster his rearguard.

Speaking about his time at the club, Dunne tweeted: “I can’t thank this club enough. I felt at home here! 

“The passion and support shown from the fans at this club is unbelievable! Keep going for the rest of the season Jambos.”

Loan players return

Hearts, meanwhile, have also confirmed that Bobby Burns and Ryan Edwards have returned to Tynecastle after their respective season-long loan spells were cut short.

Versatile left-sided player Burns, who joined last summer from Northern Irish side Glenavon, made eight appearances for Livingston, while midfielder Edwards, a close-season arrival from Partick Thistle, featured 14 times at St Mirren.

 
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