Hearts striker James Keatings has departed the club by mutual consent at the same time as it was confirmed that midfielder Miguel Pallardo has re-signed on a new one-year deal.

Former Celtic youngster Keatings moved to Tynecastle from Hamilton last summer and scored 11 times in 33 outings for the Championship winners.

However, despite being a favourite among the Hearts supporters, the striker was informed by head coach Robbie Neilson at the tail end of last term that he would struggle for regular game time on their return to the Premiership, and was free to leave if he wished.

Keatings initially suggested he would be willing to stay and fight for his place, but the 23-year-old has now reached agreement with Hearts to sever ties and look for a new club.

Keatings said: "It's a sad day that I'm leaving but I'm sure the club will step on and do well, and hopefully I'll do the same with my career which is why I've made this decision.

"The fans have taken to me and so have the people here at the club. The fans have been magnificent with me and I just want to thank them for making me feel welcome.

"I'd like to thank the club as well for being great with me during this period. They've been great behind the scenes and haven't stood in my way, so for that I thank them."

Spaniard Pallardo moved to Gorgie last September from La Liga outfit Levante and went on to make 25 appearances - scoring once - in Hearts' Championship title-winning season. His initial deal expired at the end of the season, but the club were always hopeful they could retain his services for the Premiership.

Neilson added: "I'm delighted to get Miguel signed up. He was a massive player for us last season in the Championship and he'll play a vital part for us in this upcoming Premiership campaign.

"Miguel's happy here and he's settled. His family is over and he wanted to stay. He's been taking language lessons and his English is coming on leaps and bounds. "He's enjoying playing his football at Hearts, so there was a desire from all parties to get the deal done.

"To get a player of Miguel's calibre over here and playing in the Championship was incredible. His last game in Spain was at the Bernabeu against Real Madrid."

"But he came over and did so well for us that we had to get him on board for next season."

While Pallardo has extended his stay at Tynecastle, marksman