Ex-Norwich City striker Kyle Lafferty seals Hearts move
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Kyle Lafferty has signed a two-year deal with Scottish Premiership club Hearts following his release from Norwich City.
The 29-year-old striker joins the Jambos as a free agent, subject to a medical, and is reportedly set to become the club’s highest-paid player.
Lafferty will wear the number nine shirt at Tynecastle and returns to Scottish football after a stint at Rangers.
“I’m delighted,” he said. “It’s been a frustrating three or four days to be honest, whether we were going to get it over the line or not but finally we have and I’m absolutely delighted to be back in Scotland to play my football and most importantly to play for a massive team like Hearts.
“I just wanted to come to somewhere where I can play football. I’ve got an important year ahead of me.
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“I’m hoping to make the World Cup with Northern Ireland, so it’s an important year and I’ve been told I’ll be a main focal point of the team, which over the past two or three years I’ve thrived on and I’ve produced the goods.
“Coming here, knowing how passionate the fans are about their club and their football, it’s important that I was coming to a place where I know I’d get along with the supporters.
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“Having spoken to Ian (Cathro), the way he wants his team to play football and the way I play my football, I’m sure that we’ll click.”
Lafferty scored four goals in 39 senior appearances for Norwich but was unable to establish himself in the starting XI under a series of managers following his move from Palermo in July 2013.
The towering centre forward is second on the all-time goalscoring list for Northern Ireland and was a key figure in their first-ever appearance at last summer’s European Championships.
“We are absolutely delighted that Kyle is joining us,” said Hearts’ owner Ann Budge, speaking to the club’s official site. “From our first meeting there was a clear willingness and desire to make this deal happen on both sides. This is a real win-win for both parties and I am confident that Kyle will become a real fans’ favourite.”