Hearts sign Esmael Goncalves, Alexandros Tziolis and Anastasios Avlonitis

Esmael Goncalves in action for Rio Ave
Esmael Goncalves played Europa League football with Rio Ave

Hearts have signed Esmael Goncalves from Anorthosis Famagusta for £170,000 as they also added Greeks Alexandros Tziolis and Anastasios Avlonitis.

The 25-year-old Portuguese striker, who had a loan spell with St Mirren in 2013, has signed until 2020.

Greece midfielder Alexandros Tziolis and centre-half Anastasios Avlonitis have contracts until the summer.

Tziolis, 31, had been freed by PAOK Salonica, while Avlonitis, 27, left Olympiakos in September.

Hearts hope to have all three players available to face Rangers on Wednesday should they receive international clearance.

Alexandros Tziolis in action for PAOK
Tziolis has played club football in Greece, France, Italy, Spain, Germany, Turkey and Cyprus

The Scottish Premiership club have now added nine players during the January transfer window as new head coach Ian Cathro reshapes his squad.

Cathro knows Goncalves from his time as assistant manager at Rio Ave, while assistant Austin MacPhee worked with the striker during that loan spell in Paisley from the Portuguese club.

Goncalves, also known as Isma, scored eight goals in 16 appearances for the Buddies and helped them to a League Cup triumph over Hearts at Hampden.

He had further loans to APOEL Nicosia, Veria and Anorthosis before a short spell in Saudi Arabia with Ettifaq.

Goncalves signed a permanent deal with Anorthosis last year and went on to score 10 goals in 21 games this season for the side sitting ninth in the Cypriot First Division.

Tziolis, a deep-lying playmaker, joined PAOK from Monaco in 2013 and made 111 appearances for the Thessaloniki-based club.

Anastasios Avlonitis
Avlonitis played 25 times for Greek champions Olympiakos after joining in 2014

He helped them finish second in their domestic league last season but has not played since coming on as a substitute in a Champions League qualifier - his only appearance this season for the side sitting fifth in the table.

Tziolis started his career with Panionios before moving on to Panathinaikos.

He moved to Siena in Italy and Racing Santander in Spain and during his career has had loan spells with Werder Bremen, APOEL and Kayserispor.

Hearts' deal for Avlonitis was completed the day after 20-year-old defender John Souttar picked up a serious injury against Celtic.

Avlonitis, a former Greece Under-21 international, made 25 appearances for Greek Superleague leaders and reigning champions Olympiakos after joining from Panionios in 2014.

He spent part of last season on loan to Sturm Graz in Austria but failed to make an appearance for his parent club this season before his contract was terminated.

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