HEARTS striker John Sutton is set to complete a shock move to Central Coast Mariners, according to reports in the UK.
The former Motherwell and Millwall frontman is reported to have finalised a deal to quit the Scottish Premier League for a move to Gosford, believed to be ona four month loan deal.
English-born Sutton would come in to replace Matt Simon whose imposing presence has been badly missed in the Mariners side since he left for Chunnam Dragons in the K.League at New Year.
Sutton, 28, is said to have rejected a loan move to his former club St Mirren and Hibs were also said to be keen on recruiting the younger brother of former Celtic great, Chris Sutton.
However he and Hearts are now believed to have opted for a move Down Under.
The Mariners' table-topping spot in the league and Asian Champions League football were also said to be deciding factors in the decision, as well as Hearts' reluctance to let him go to an SPL rival.
Sutton has struggled to hold down a place in an erratic Hearts campaign since moving from Motherwell at the start of the season and was told he was free to leave the club "for the right price"
However given the Mariners's precarious finances at the moment, it's unlikely they would be able to offer Hearts a transfer fee.
Yesterday, sources close to the Hearts camp suggest the move was now close to completion, subject to paperwork, on a four month loan deal.