Hearts boss hails Garang Kuol as 'huge prospect' as club steps up bid

Hearts boss lavishes praise on ‘huge prospect’ Garang Kuol after Scottish Premiership side rolled out the red carpet for Newcastle wonderkid in effort to seal loan deal this month

  • Garang Kuol signed for Newcastle from Central Coast on January 1
  • The Premier League giants are looking to loan the youngster out for the season
  • Hearts are keen to sign the Australian and had him visit their facilities this week
  • Hearts boss Robbie Neilson has heaped praise on the 18-year-old striker 
  • Click here for all your latest international sports news at Daily Mail Australia 

Hearts manager Robbie Neilson has hailed Garang Kuol as a ‘huge prospect’ as the Scottish Premiership side stepped up their bid to sign the teenager.

Newcastle signed the 18-year-old forward from Central Coast Mariners in September for $515,000, but Kuol only completed the switch to the Premier League on New Year’s Day.  

Magpies manager Eddie Howe, however, wants the Australian to get some regular football under his belt before competing for his place at St James’ Park.

Hearts manager Robbie Neilson has hailed Garang Kuol as a ‘huge prospect’

On Thursday, Hearts’ sporting director, Joe Savage, met Kuol and his representatives, who were provided a tour of the club’s training facilities at Oriam while the first team prepared for Saturday’s match against St Mirren. 

And Neilson admitted the Tynecastle club – who have fellow Aussies Kye Rowles, Cam Devlin and Nathaniel Atkinson on their books – were hopeful to sign the Australian on loan. 

‘He’s a player we’re interested in so he came up for a look around with his agent,’ he told reporters.

‘He’s got a number of clubs that are very interested in him. He’s a huge prospect. He’s one we’ve known about for quite a long time because he comes from the same team as Kye Rowles was at.

The Newcastle wonderkid visited Hearts’ training base ahead of a proposed loan move

Kuol was in Edinburgh on Thursday, sparking rumours he could be playing football in Scotland

‘The opportunity came to speak to him so we brought him up and we’ll see where it goes.’

Neilson, however, conceded a deal was still some way off with Kuol having attracted interest from a number of Championship clubs including Reading.

‘It’s still at the very early stages. It will depend what other clubs are in for him,’ he said.  

‘We’d love to get him here but we’ll just have to wait and see because he’s an 18-year-old who has been playing at the World Cup so I’m sure there will be a lot of suitors.

The teenager scored six goals in 18 appearances in the A-League for Central Coast Mariners

Kuol signed Newcastle in September last year and completed his move in January

Newcastle manager Eddie Howe confirmed Kuol was likely to head out on loan in January

‘He’s an attacking player, he’s quick, he scores goals, takes people on. A very exciting player.’

Speaking earlier this week, Howe confirmed Kuol was likely to go out on loan.

‘I do think for the player’s development, he needs to go and play,’ he said.

‘If possible, that would be at a very good level, with a good club and a good coach.

Kuol was within inches of scoring a last-minute equaliser in Australia’s 2-1 defeat in the Round of 16 against eventual champions Argentina at the World Cup last month

‘That’s not a decision that’s been made currently, so we will have to assess all of our options.’

Kuol played his junior football for the Goulburn Valley Suns in Victoria before he was snapped up by the Mariners Academy in January of 2021. 

He made his senior debut for the Mariners last year and scored within seven minutes of his introduction and netted four goals in his first seven appearances in his first season in the A-League

Socceroos boss Graham Arnold named the youngster in his World Cup  and Kuol came within inches of scoring a last-minute equaliser in Australia’s 2-1 defeat in the Round of 16 against eventual champions Argentina.

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