David Obua arrived in Edinburgh today for talks over a possible move to Hearts, according to BBC Sport. The 24-year-old midfielder, who played for Uganda while Csaba Laszlo was manager, recently left Kaiser Chiefs of South Africa, has been capped twenty-two times for his country, and recently had a trial with West Ham United.
It is believed that Obua could fly out with the squad this Sunday as they head to their pre-season training camp in Germany, however before any deal can be struck Hearts would need to attain a work permit for the player.
The rules regarding work permits state that a player must have played 75% of his country’s internationals in the last two years, and that the country in question must be in the top 70 of the current FIFA World Rankings. Uganda currently sit 97th.
If a player fails to meet these criteria then a review panel assess whether the player will enhance Scottish football significantly enough to allow him to sign, although Hearts have had problems with this in past, notably when they tried to sign Georgian internationalist Gogita Gogua in 2006.
One player that could be leaving Hearts is Scotland under-21 striker Calum Elliot. Elliot was the focus of much of the abuse coming from the stands last season due to his poor performances. At the end of last season he made no secret of wanting away from the club in order to make a fresh start and Inverness manager Craig Brewster looks like the man who could take a chance on him.
It has also emerged, according to Sky Sports news that Hearts are one of a number of clubs interested in Brazilian midfielder Douglas Rinaldi, currently at Watford. Birmingham, Charlton, Plymouth, Swansea and Edinburgh rivals Hibernian are also keen on the 24-year-old.
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