St Johnstone’s Scottish Cup hero Steven MacLean is set to seal a shock move to Hearts before the end of the week.
Courier Sport understands that Craig Levein has offered the veteran forward a two-year deal that will be too good for MacLean – soon to be out-of-contract – to turn down.
Now 35, it is unlikely he would be a first team regular at McDiarmid Park next season, and that will also be the case at Tynecastle.
Levein sees MacLean as a mentor for his young strikers, as well as a valuable squad player, and he may also get the chance to begin a coaching career.
The former Rangers, Aberdeen and Sheffield Wednesday man will forever be a Saints legend, after scoring in the historic cup win against Dundee United.
After concluding his pre-contract agreement, MacLean will still have an important part to play in the last few weeks of the league campaign with the Perth side, as Tommy Wright has a striker crisis on his hands.
Chris Kane has been ruled out for the season, Denny Johnstone has suffered a training ground injury and David McMillan and Callum Hendry are still working their way back to fitness.
“Chris is out for the season with his hamstring,” Wright confirmed.
“Denny went down in training with no-one near him and that is a worry.
“We are waiting for the results of his scan but the likelihood is that he will be out for the rest of the season as well.
“It is very disappointing. I am just glad we have 38 points and not 30 going into the games after the split. At least that gives us some breathing space.
“But George Williams can play up there and I have youngsters like John Robertson (16) and Shaun Struthers (18) who could come in.”
Wright added: “I know all clubs can point to injuries but I have never known anything like this.
“I remember one game when we had 10 missing.
“In a normal season you have guys out for two or three weeks but we have had a lot of long-term impact injuries to content with. We have had to do without Brian Easton, David McMillan, Stefan Scougall, Richard Foster, Callum Hendry and Michael O’Halloran when he was on loan from Rangers for long spells.
“Some of them were a result of poor challenges.”