Hearts announce signing of Northern Ireland striker Kyle Lafferty
By Sky Sports News HQ
Last Updated: 28/06/17 5:46pm
Hearts have today confirmed the signing of Northern Ireland international Kyle Lafferty, subject to a medical test.
It was reported on Monday that sources close to the former Rangers striker had told Sky Sports News HQ he wanted to join Hearts.
The Northern Ireland striker, 29, who has been without a club since being released by Norwich at the end of last season, is looking forward to his return to Scottish football under Hearts' manager Ian Cathro.
"I'm delighted," Lafferty told the club's official TV channel. "It's been a frustrating three or four day to be honest, whether we were going to get it over the line or not but finally we have and I'm absolutely delighted to be back in Scotland to play my football and most importantly to play for a massive team like Hearts.
"I just wanted to come to somewhere where I can play football. I've got an important year ahead of me. I'm hoping to make the World Cup with Northern Ireland, so it's an important year and I've been told I'll be a main focal point of the team, which over the past two or three years I've thrived on and I've produced the goods.
"Coming here, knowing how passionate the fans are about their club and their football, it's important that I was coming to a place where I know I'd get along with the supporters.
"Having spoken to Ian, the way he wants his team to play football and the way I play my football, I'm sure that we'll click."
Lafferty, who is Northern Ireland's top scorer in World Cup qualifying with three goals, had received interest from Edinburgh rivals Hibernian, Metz and Ipswich along with talk of a proposed move to Azerbaijan.
The striker, who has been given the number nine jersey, has previously enjoyed loan spells at Sion, Palermo and Birmingham City and is the country's second highest goalscorer in Northern Ireland's history with 20 goals in 62 appearances to date.
Hearts and Northern Ireland coach Austin MacPhee is believed to have played a pivotal role in enticing the 29-year-old to Tynecastle alongside Lafferty's international team mate Aaron Hughes.
Hughes is Northern Ireland's most capped outfield player while MacPhee is an integral member of Michael O'Neill's backroom staff.