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McCarthy's glowing reference helps Elliot land deal at Hearts

FORMER Irish international Stephen Elliott is close to a move to SPL side Hearts after Mick McCarthy gave the player a ringing endorsement.

Elliott is on the market after Preston told the former Sunderland and Manchester City man that he was free to find a new club and Hearts are very close to a deal.

"A lot of people have recommended him, including Mick McCarthy, and they think he could do a great turn. Hopefully we can get it tied up," said Hearts boss Jim Jeffries.

"We're very close to getting him but it will take until next week although I'd hope to get him into the team for next week.

"Everything is done with Preston on our side but on his side things need to be sorted out. You need to go through the usual procedures. This lad would take a big drop (in wages) to come to Scotland. The fact he knew Kevin Kyle and played with him at Sunderland helped."