Hearts sign former Celtic striker Craig Beattie

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Interview - Hearts striker Craig Beattie

Hearts have signed former Celtic striker Craig Beattie until the end of the season.

Beattie, freed by Swansea City last month, agreed terms with Hearts after turning down a move to Kilmarnock.

"When the call came it was something that intrigued me," he said. "I've had other options but I know how big the club is."

Beattie could make his debut in Saturday's league clash with Dundee United at Tynecastle.

The 28-year-old, who has seven Scotland caps, joined Swansea for a then-record fee of £800,000 from West Brom in 2009.

However, he was released without making a senior appearance for Swansea City this season.

Beattie said he was relishing the prospect of playing in the Scottish capital.

"I've played in the country before and played at Tynecastle," he said. "I know how intimidating it (the stadium) is. It was something that excited me so that's what I went for.

"I've come in here until the end of the season to hopefully lift the boys and kick on."

Hearts owner Vladimir Romanov had introduced a series of cuts that led to the departure of several first-team players during December and January.

Manager Paolo Sergio lost John Sutton, who has gone on loan to Central Coast Mariners, fellow striker Calum Elliot was released, while Ryan Stevenson, who had been used in a forward role, moved to Ipswich Town.

Sergio insisted Sutton's move was to reduce the wage bill, but that an additional striker was necessary to support Stephen Elliott, with Gary Glen and Gordon Smith other options.

The Portuguese explained: "John went to save money. Now it's a different deal with Beattie.

"It was a free player and at this moment it's another solution to help the group.

"I trust Lockey (first-team coach Gary Locke) and John Murray (director of football) - they know the player very well. I hope he can be happy here."

Sergio often deploys a lone striker, a position Beattie is happy to play.

"I've played as the central striker for the past four years," he said.

"I know at the minute there's a bit of competition. First and foremost I've got to get myself fit and get myself in the team.

"I'm sure, if and when that happens, I'll get goals."

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