Hearts have agreed the transfer of Australian international player Kye Rowles.
The Socceroos defender will join the Jambos on a three-year-deal from A-League side Central Coast Mariners for an undisclosed fee subject to visa approval and international clearance.
23-year-old Kye is a rising star of the Australian game, recently winning his first full for caps the national side.
Standing 6’3” tall, the centre-half began his professional career with Brisbane Roar in 2016 before joining Central Coast Mariners a year later.
He would go on to rack up 107 appearances for Mariners, helping them to the 2021 Australian FA Cup Final. Despite losing 2-1 to Adelaide United, Kye was jointly awarded the Mark Viduka Medal for his man of the match performance.
After picking up the Mariners Medal - a combination of fans, coaches and players’ votes for player of the year - at the end of 2020/21, he would go on to retain the prestigious club award last season after playing his part in getting Mariners to the A-League Finals series, as well as winning the Players’ Player of the Year and Coach’s Player of the Year awards.
Having represented his country at U17, U20 and U23 levels, and making the squads for the U17s World Cup in 2015 and the 2020 Tokyo Olympics in 2021, Kye made his full Australia debut earlier this month in a 2-1 friendly win over Jordan, before gaining his second cap two nights ago in their World Cup play-off win against United Arab Emirates, playing 90 minutes in a 2-1 Socceroos victory which takes them to one game away from the finals in Qatar.
With a successful Exceptions Panel hearing having taken place with the Scottish FA, Kye looks set to begin the next chapter of his career in maroon, much to the delight of Robbie Neilson.
The manager told the Official Hearts Website: “This is an exciting transfer for us and one that everyone has worked really hard to get over the line.
“Kye has a fantastic reputation over in Australia and his talent has seen him rise to the top of the game.
“To get another international player in the door is a big coup and I’m really looking forward to working with him. Hearts is the perfect place for Kye to continue his development and I believe he is someone who can help improve the team.”
Sporting Director Joe Savage said: “We’ve obviously had success in the Australian market so having identified Kye as a target it was a no brainer to try and bring him to the club.
“He’s clearly a very talented player and he has the potential to get even better, and I think we’ve all seen that Hearts can provide an environment for players to flourish, which is why Kye has chosen us as the best place to continue his career despite late attempts from other Scottish clubs to get involved.
“Kye fits the profile of player we want to attract to this club and I’ve no doubt the fans will take to him, like they have with Cammy Devlin and Nat Atkinson, once he pulls on that maroon jersey.
“These types of transfers require a lot of work so I have to thank everyone involved for all of their their efforts, and it's full steam ahead in terms of building a squad capable of making a mark in both domestic and European football this season.”