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Northern Ireland forward Kyle Lafferty signs a two-year deal with Hearts

Northern Ireland striker Kyle Lafferty has signed a deal to become Hearts' highest-paid player.

The 29 year-old was released by English Championship side Norwich at the end of the season and has now finalised a move to Tynecastle.

Lafferty had been in talks with Hearts most of this week, although rumours suggested Neil Lennon's Hibernian were ready to hi-jack the move. He will now join up with Northern Ireland team-mate Aaron Hughes and former NI coach Austin MacPhee, while former Ballymena United full-back Michael Smith has also been linked with a move to the Edinburgh club.

The move also means he could feature against Linfield in pre-season. Hearts are due to play at Windsor Park on Saturday July 8 (kick-off 3pm), after they begin their pre-season campaign with games against Livingston and St Patrick's Athletic.

Lafferty is no stranger to Scottish football, having signed for Rangers for a fee over £3M in 2008. He won three Scottish Premier League titles before leaving for Switzerland in 2012.

The Enniskillen man will be keen to get some much-needed game-time under his belt. He hasn't started a senior league match since 23 April 2016, when he was on loan at Birmingham City. He came off the bench in 12 Championship matches for Norwich last season and his lack of game time began to impact his international hopes.

Lafferty has 62 caps for Northern Ireland and has so far scored 20 international goals.

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