Belfast Telegraph

Kyle Lafferty reveals ideal move as free agent insists he still has 'plenty to offer'

Where next for Kyle Lafferty?
Where next for Kyle Lafferty?
Gareth Hanna

By Gareth Hanna

Kyle Lafferty has broken his silence on his future by issuing a come-and-get-me plea to former club Hearts.

The Northern Ireland striker is currently a free agent, having departed Sarpsborg 08 at the end of the Norwegian season last month.

The 32-year-old scored 20 goals in little over a year at Hearts before leaving for a second spell at Rangers in 2018.

His contract was terminated by mutual consent at Ibrox during the summer, after which Lafferty was keen to go back to Hearts.

However, Sarpsborg swooped as Lafferty joined a fourth foreign club, following brief spells at Sion, Palermo and Rizespor earlier in his career.

It had been rumoured that he was now set to reject any offers to return to the Scottish Premiership in favour of another move abroad but Lafferty has laughed off any hint that he would turn his nose up at an opportunity to go back to Tynecastle.

“I don’t know where the story came from that I want to move abroad," he told the Daily Record. "My first option would be Hearts and I’ve said previously that I’d jump at the chance to go back.

“I loved the time I had there, the fans were great with me and I have lots of friends there who I still keep in touch with. I’ve spoken with a few Hearts boys and had a few texts about what’s going on but everything is hypothetical as there has been no firm contact.

“Playing in Norway allowed me to get back out onto the pitch and get game time, it was great to be playing regularly again. Now I need to move my career on and it’s the January window so I (am) ready for whatever challenge comes my way.

“Whether (that) can be at Hearts or elsewhere remains to be seen but hopefully I’ll have my future sorted in the coming weeks.

“I’ve been keeping myself fit and I’m ready to do a job so it’s an exciting time as I know I’ve got plenty to offer.”

Hearts could do with something to spark their season into life. The Edinburgh club are rooted to the foot of the Scottish Premiership table, five points adrift. Craig Levein was sacked at the end of October, with former Barnsley boss Daniel Stendel appointed as manager one month ago today.

The club need a goal-scorer, with Japanese forward Ryotaro Meshino's three Premiership strikes the most any player has managed for the club this term.

Lafferty too, however, is in need of a boost to rediscover the form of his first stint in the Scottish capital, having netted only once in nine league games in Norway and still without an international goal since November 2016.

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