Raith Rovers captain Ross Callachan has been snapped up by Hearts on a two-year deal for an undisclosed fee.
The Edinburgh side had made an initial offer of cash plus a player but that was rejected by the Kirkcaldy side’s board.
Now, though, the Jambos have made an improved bid which has been accepted and the 23-year-old midfielder has become new Tynecastle boss Craig Levein’s first signing.
Callachan’s departure will no doubt be a bitter blow for Rovers manager Barry Smith who could now sign former Celtic, Blackpool and Dunfermline midfielder John Herron who has been training with the Kirkcaldy side in recent weeks.
What is certain is that Raith chairman Alan Young insists the club could not stand in the way of lifelong Hearts fan Callachan leaving Stark’s Park.
Young said: “I am extremely disappointed to see Ross Callachan leave Raith Rovers. He is a hard-working professional with considerable talent.
“Over the last few months there has been interest from a few clubs in our captain.
“To date we have been able to reject these offers as the club and Ross himself agreed that our principal priority was getting back into the Championship in one year.
“Ross Callachan was considered by the manager and the board as being an important player in achieving that objective.”
Young added: “Ross has however now been presented with the opportunity of playing in the Scottish Premiership for the club he has supported since childhood and Raith Rovers are not really in the position of preventing him from realising his dream.
“We wish him all the best for the future and thank him for all his efforts for the Rovers over the last 10 years.
“Let our young players look to Ross Callachan as an example of how to develop and expand your talents.
“Of course a transfer of this nature can only take place if the manager is confident that he has sufficient replacement to cover the loss of such an important player. That cover is in place.”