German club Schalke have emerged as shock Ã‚Â£2million suitors for Hearts and Ghana playmaker Laryea Kingston.
The Bundesliga outfit are eyeing a move for the Ghana international and considering a concrete offer to tempt Tynecastle owner Vladimir Romanov into a sale.
Kingston’s advisers have been asked by Schalke to provide detailed information about the player.
Kingston is among a list of prized Hearts assets – skipper Christophe Berra and Andy Driver are also attracting attention – who are being scouted across Europe.
Kingston has a high profile in England and on the continent from an international career that has brought him 30 caps and six goals.
The 28-year-old has 18 months remaining on his Tynecastle contract and would be willing to stay but the club may choose to cash in.
Coach Fred Rutten steered Schalke to the Champions League this season and the club’s owners want a return next term.
Russian oil giants Gazprom back Schalke, who released former Rangers winger Peter Lovenkrands this week, and have invested heavily the playing squad.
Rutten’s team are six points off the qualification spots for next season’s Champions League and plan to strengthen for a major push in the second half of the season.
The Dutch coach, who has yet to make any January moves, has a list of fancied players and Kingston is one.
The midfielder has also attracted attention from English Premiership clubs plus Greek sides Panathinaikos and AEK Athens.