HEARTS failed with an audacious attempt to snatch Kevin Nisbet and Drey Wright from under the noses of city rivals Hibs.
Nisbet, 23, penned a four-year deal with the Hibees after a £250,000 deal was struck with Dunfermline.
However, it is understood that Jambos boss Robbie Neilson made an eleventh-hour attempt to snap up the striker – while he was in the midst of talks at the Hibernian Training Centre on Thursday.
Neilson is a huge admirer of Nisbet, who notched 23 goals for the Pars last season, and saw two bids to sign him for Dundee United kicked out during the January transfer window.
Having returned to Gorgie last month, he remained keen to work with the former Partick Thistle and Raith Rovers attacker and made his pitch while Nisbet was in the process of completing the formalities of his move to Easter Road.
Hearts tabled a substantially more generous salary but, having verbally committed to CEO Leeann Dempster, sporting director Graeme Mathie and head coach Jack Ross, Nisbet kept his word.
He was also keen to be plying his trade in the top-flight next term following a fine season in the Championship.
Sources have confirmed that the Jambos also held last-gasp discussions with ex-St Johnstone winger Wright on Thursday.
Hearts are keen to bolster their options on the flank, with youngsters Lewis Moore and Euan Henderson their only recognised wingers ahead of the upcoming Championship campaign.
Wright has been on their radar throughout the summer despite training with Hibs since they reported for pre-season on June 22.
And Hearts, who have also made a play to bring ex-player Sam Nicholson back to Gorgie, attempted to convince him that his future lay at Tynecastle.
However, Wright turned down the approach and put pen to paper on a contract until the summer of 2022.