Hearts: Austrian centre-back Peter Haring poised to arrive from Ried

Ried defender Peter Haring
Peter Haring has spent a season with Ried

Hearts are hoping Peter Haring will be in Scotland within 24 hours as they consider signing the central defender from Austrian second-tier club Ried.

The 25-year-old had the worst disciplinary record in the Austrian Football Second League last season, picking up 15 yellow cards.

It was his first season with the Ried im Innkreis club after switching from Austria Lustenau.

He made 36 appearances, scoring three times, as Ried finished fourth.

Finishing two places above his former club was not enough to secure promotion and Haring has a release clause in his contract if they failed to reach the Bundesliga.

He spent three seasons with Rapid Vienna after spells with Siegendorf, Schatterndorf and Baumgarten but only played for Rapid's second team before joining Lustenau in 2015.

He could become Hearts' ninth close-season signing as Craig Levein reshapes his squad after a sixth-placed finish in last season's Premiership.

Hearts' John Souttar and Craig Levein
Craig Levein (right) will find out this week how John Souttar's hip injury has responded to a summer rest

He has already signed Steven MacLean, Bobby Burns, Jake Mulraney, Olly Lee, Uche Ikpeazu, Ben Garuccio, Zdenek Zlama and Ryan Edwards, while Conor Sammon has returned to the club after a loan spell at Partick Thistle.

Hearts players are due to return to training on Thursday, but there are concerns over the fitness of John Souttar.

The 21-year-old central defender missed Scotland's end-of-season friendlies against Peru and Mexico with a hip injury.

Hearts' medical staff opted against sending Souttar for surgery, but the extent of his recovery will only be known once he begins training again.

"He had a little bit of scarring on his hip, which we think is an old scar. Without going in and doing an exploratory operation, we aren't going to know for sure," Levein told the Edinburgh Evening News.

"We will find out when he starts doing the hard work, but fingers crossed that's what it is - an old problem.

"We're hoping he just damaged his hip muscle and it wasn't anything to do with this scarring."

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