One in, one blocked at Hearts

  • Last Updated: January 30 2014, 17:43 GMT

Hearts have signed 20-year-old West Ham striker Paul McCallum on loan - but a bid to re-sign Rudi Skacel was rebuffed by the Scottish Professional Football League.

Paul McCallum: On loan at Hearts from West Ham
Paul McCallum: On loan at Hearts from West Ham

McCallum, a 6ft 3in forward who has scored goals on loan at Torquay, Wimbledon and Aldershot, could make his debut in the League Cup quarter-final against Inverness on Sunday after joining for the rest of the campaign.

Hearts were allowed to sign him under the terms of their transfer sanctions on a one-out, one-in basis following the sale of teenager Adam King to Swansea, but a bid to re-sign Skacel failed after Hearts cancelled the player registration of goalkeeping coach Alan Combe.

And Skacel will have to wait until the club come out of administration to sign for Hearts for a third time after Ryan Stevenson rejected offers to leave the club.

A statement from the SPFL board read: "In relation to the application to register Rudi Skacel, the board considered a range of factors, including the fact that 34-year-old midfielder Skacel was being proposed to replace a 39-year-old goalkeeper/goalkeeping coach who has not appeared on any first-team squad list in any Premiership match for Heart of Midlothian this season."

Hearts administrator Bryan Jackson said: "I am grateful to the SPFL for the speed and fairness of this decision which allows Adam King to be swiftly replaced with Paul. We are disappointed that the application for Rudi Skacel was rejected but understand the reasons for the SPFL's decision."

Stevenson was the subject of interest from Romanians CFR Cluj while Premiership rivals such as St Mirren and Partick Thistle were linked with moves but he has pledged his future to the club.

The 29-year-old, who returns from suspension against Inverness, told Hearts TV: "There's been offers put on the table for me but I said a couple of weeks ago that I was happy to, hopefully, spend as long as I possibly can at Hearts and my mind never changed.

"I didn't think it was right to come out as early as last week and say things and be disrespectful to people, so I've sort of been biding my time and now I'd like to put it to bed. I'm going to be here for as long as I possibly can.

"Everything about the club has me smitten, even more so this time with the situation and the way the fans have been in keeping the club going. The task that we've all been forced into is something that I'm happy to be part of, I'm grateful to be part of and I'll hopefully be here to get Hearts back to where they should be.

"If Hearts were playing on the moon then I'd be playing on the moon with Hearts. I wanted to make a stand and I wanted to say that I'd be here for a while and that's firmly the case. I still want to spend as long as I possibly can. If I'm lucky enough and blessed enough to be here until the end of my career then I'd definitely do that."


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