Uche Ikpeazu: Hearts in talks over new deal for striker

Oliver Bozanic and Uche Ikpeazu
Uche Ikpeazu (right) made his Hearts return on Wednesday
Scottish Cup: Hearts v Auchinleck Talbot
Venue: Tynecastle Date: Sunday, 10 February Kick-off: 15:00 GMT
Coverage: Updates on BBC Radio Scotland 810MW/DAB/online & the BBC Sport website

Hearts manager Craig Levein is speaking to Uche Ikpeazu's representative about extending the striker's contract.

The 23-year-old still has more than a year left on his current deal after joining Hearts in the summer from Cambridge United.

Ikpeazu returned from injury as a substitute in Wednesday's 0-0 draw with Livingston.

"Even in the short period of time he was on the field on Wednesday he did some really good things," said Levein.

"He ignited the crowd a little bit and got them excited. He has worked ever so hard to get himself back into shape. The physios have done a terrific job in getting him back in great condition.

"I'm really pleased to have him back and if the other night is any indication then he will take off from where he left before the injury. I'm working on that [extending the contract]. I'm speaking to his agent."

Ikpeazu scored four goals in 11 appearances before sustaining an ankle injury in early October that required surgery.

And the striker said before Sunday's Scottish Cup fifth-round tie with Auchinleck Talbot: "I've had a few of those in my time. It was a frustrating time.

"Sometimes after the operation it can be difficult to heal or there can be complications.

"The biggest thing was being able to run without having pain. I recovered well, though, and that is testament to my hard work and the staff around me and the facilities that helped me get back to fitness."

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