Wigan playmaker set for Hearts return if he can negotiate exit

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Jamie Walker looks set to return to Hearts on a permanent deal once he negotiates his release from Wigan.

The Tynecastle side are understood to have held informal talks with the 26-year-old, with Walker having been told he has no future at the DW stadium.

The attacking midfielder only left Hearts for the Latics 18 months ago but has failed to make an impact south of the border.

Walker in action against Rangers

Walker made only one league start in a total of nine appearances for Wigan as Paul Cook’s side clinched the League One title last term.

The Scotland under-21 cap was then farmed out on loan to Peterborough last summer and made 17 appearances before undergoing a season-ending knee operation in January.

Walker, who scored 40 goals in 181 appearances for Hearts, still has a year to run on his lucrative contract at Wigan and is in the process of trying to agree a suitable severance package.

The playmaker’s proposed move back to Gorgie would be welcomed by the club’s fans, with Walker having established himself as a favourite before his departure.

The Hearts academy graduate had been the subject of failed bids from Rangers in summer 2017 and was even left out of the Hearts team at the start of the season by then head coach Ian Cathro after being unsettled by the speculation.

Hearts manager Craig Levein is keen to bolster his attacking options ahead of the new campaign having already snapped up defender Craig Halkett from Livingston.

Midfielder Arnuad Djoum’s future at the club remains unclear although the Cameroon internationalist admits he has not closed the door on staying with Hearts.

Djoum has so far stalled on signing fresh terms after his previous deal expired earlier this summer.

Djoum, who is with his country at the Africa Cup of Nations, said: “I have plenty of options. I could stay or I could go elsewhere.

“I have a proposal from Hearts about an extension and I’ve left that with my agents. 

“The door has been left open for me and I will announce my decision at the end of this competition.”

 
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