Hearts agree deal to sign Moroccan striker El Hassnaoui

Soufian El Hassnaoui (left) and Hearts head coach Robbie Neilson
Robbie Neilson (right) will be hoping Soufian El Hassnaoui (left) can fire Hearts out of the Scottish Championship next term

Hearts have agreed to sign Sparta Rotterdam striker Soufian El Hassnaoui on a three-year contract, subject to international clearance.

The 24-year-old, who was born in the Netherlands, represented Morocco at the London 2012 Olympics.

"Soufian's a player we see talent in. We can see his desire," said Hearts head coach Robbie Neilson.

"We spoke to some people in Holland who knew him and played against him, and all the reports were good."

El Hassnaoui was with De Graafschap for five years before making the switch to Sparta last year.

"The first conversation we had we told him he's coming in here to develop, but also to help us develop the young boys," added Neilson.

"He was brought up in the Dutch system so he's got a very good tactical knowledge of the game and he understands the game. He can definitely help our younger players to progress as well.

"He can play up front on his own, he can play with a partner or he can play behind the striker. He's very versatile and he's got a lot of talent. He's a good age as well."

Hearts, who will play in the Scottish Championship next term after suffering relegation, have signed striker James Keatings from Hamilton and former Dundee United midfielder Morgaro Gomis this summer.

The Tynecastle club have also tied up teenage winger Sam Nicholson on a new three-year deal after his contract expired.

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