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Hearts make room for a new signing

Hearts are understood to be planning to cancel the player registration of Alan Combe, the club's goalkeeper coach.

It is a move intended to allow the Edinburgh side to sign a new player under the Scottish Professional Football League's one in, one out guidelines, despite being under a transfer embargo. However, any new arrival would still have to be aged 21 or under.

The Tynecastle side hope to complete a new signing ahead of the Scottish League Cup semi-final tie with Inverness Caledonian Thistle on Sunday, while the expected £150,000 sale of Adam King to Swansea City would provide room for another signing. The teenager was in Wales yesterday to undergo a medical with the Barclays Premier League club.

Rudi Skacel is also poised to sign for Hearts for a third time when the Scottish Football Association's transfer embargo is lifted at the end of this month. The midfielder is training with his former club, having previously been linked with Championship side Alloa Athletic.

A new agreement with Billy Brown was closer to being agreed last night, though. The Hearts assistant manager had been told that his contract would not be renewed when it expires on Friday, but club administrator's BDO have since offered the 63-year-old an extension until the end of February.

It is also thought that the progress made regarding the club's bid to exit administration has been a factor in that decision. BDO were, however, still awaiting a draft agreement from UBIG - the collapsed Lithuanian investment company who are owed £8.2m - to hand over their 50% shareholding. It is one of the final hurdles to a takeover bid from fans group the Foundation of Hearts.

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