The crisis engulfing Hearts has forced them to cancel the signing of Liverpool defender Danny Wilson, manager Gary Locke has confirmed.
Wilson, 21, signed a three-year deal with the Scottish Premier League club in May after having struggled to establish himself in the first team at Anfield following his arrival from Rangers for £2 million in 2010.
Hearts, who went into administration on Wednesday with debts of £25 million, have been banned by the SPL from registering new players after failing to pay the wages of a number of squad members this month. Four buyers are reported to be in contention for the club.
Locke told a press conference on Friday that, because Wilson’s Anfield contract does not expire until June 30, he is still technically a Liverpool player despite having signed a deal with Hearts.
That means the defender will now be free to sign for another club.
“Danny Wilson is still a Liverpool player and, because we have an embargo, we now cannot sign him, which is very unfortunate for me,” Locke told STV.
Wilson made only one Premier League start in his time at Anfield. He played a total of nine games for the club, the last of which was a League Cup tie at Brighton in September 2011.
The defender, who has played five times for Scotland, had loan spells in the Championship with Blackpool and Bristol City before joining Hearts on loan in January.