Aaron Hughes: Hearts sign Northern Ireland defender & Lennard Sowah

Aaron Hughes
Aaron Hughes has won more than 100 caps for Northern Ireland

Hearts have signed experienced Northern Ireland defender Aaron Hughes until the end of the season.

The 37-year-old former Newcastle and Fulham centre-back is a free agent after completing a spell with Indian Super League club Kerala Blasters.

Lennard Sowah also moves to Tynecastle for the same duration.

The 24-year-old German full-back arrives from Premiership rivals Hamilton, where he made seven appearances after joining in October.

A former Arsenal trainee, Sowah spent time at Portsmouth, Hamburger SV, Millwall and Danish side FC Vestjaelland before his switch to the Accies on a short-term deal which expired on 1 January.

Hughes, capped 104 times, played at Euro 2016 and made his last international appearance in a 2-0 loss to Germany in October.

His country's most-capped outfield player, Hughes hopes his move to Edinburgh will help prolong his Northern Ireland career.

"With the current World Cup campaign, I was hoping to come back and play at a level that is going to help keep me involved with the national team," he said.

"The question I keep asking myself is whether I'm motivated to carry on and I certainly am. I feel fit and I'm motivated to play for as long as I can."

The pair are Ian Cathro's first signings since he took over from Robbie Neilson as head coach at the beginning of December.

Lennard Sowah in action for Hamilton
Sowah says his best position is left-back

Speaking to the club website, Sowah said: "My favourite position is left-back but I can also play in the middle or out on the wing. But left-back is where I prefer to play and I will do my very best to help the team succeed.

"I feel right at home in Scotland. I've played in England before and I love the passion for the game over here."

The duo arrive following the departure of Alim Ozturk, with the 24-year-old defender agreeing his release over the weekend and joining Turkish side Boluspor on an 18-month deal.

Hearts have also confirmed that Tony Watt's loan from Charlton has been terminated.

The striker, 23, returned to training with the Addicks last week having scored once in 17 appearances.

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