Hearts sign striker Liam Boyce and defender Toby Sibbick

Boyce has scored 14 times in 33 games for Burton so far this season
Boyce has scored 14 times in 33 games for Burton so far this season

Liam Boyce says he "couldn't see myself going anywhere else" after leaving Burton Albion to join Hearts on a three-and-a-half year deal.

The 21-cap Northern Ireland striker moves to the Scottish Premiership's bottom club for an undiscolosed fee.

Boyce, 28, follows the loan arrival of Barnsley defender Toby Sibbick, and both could their debut in Sunday's home league game against Rangers.

"This is an absolutely massive club," said former Ross County forward Boyce.

"There's potential here and having met the manager I've got a good idea of what he's like. Hopefully we can build something special here.

"This is a move that could have happened a couple of times before but I obviously ended up in England.

"When the opportunity presented itself again I couldn't see myself going anywhere else and I'm buzzing to be here."

Boyce moved to Burton in 2017 after 55 goals in a three-year spell with County in which he helped the Dingwall club to their first major trophy - the Scottish League Cup in 2016 - and was the Premiership's top scorer the following season with 23 goals.

A knee injury delayed his debut for six months at the current English League One side but he went on to score 31 in 94 games. His 33 appearances this term have yielded 14 goals and his contract was due to expire this summer.

Sibbick, meanwhile, moves to Tynecastle until the end of the season having worked with Hearts manager Daniel Stendel when the German was in charge of Barnsley.

"It feels great to be here," the 20-year-old said.

"The gaffer real belief in me as a person and as a player and hopefully I can repay him here now. I'm quite an athletic player, I'm quick and I enjoy the pressing style that Daniel likes to play,"

Sibbick, who has played 18 times for Barnsley this term, added. "I think if me and the rest of the players buy into that then we can turn this around."

'More prolific than Defoe' - analysis

The fee for Boyce could end being in excess of £200,000. There were problems with the deal, because an English League One side came in yesterday and matched the fee, while offering the player better terms than he could get at Hearts.

But he chose Hearts and his goalscoring record as a professional is actually better than Rangers striker Jermain Defoe's. Boyce has 86 goals in 179 games - a remarkable record.

I'm also told the movements at Tynecastle are not over. The window closes on Friday night and I would expect much movement both in and out before then.

Find all the latest football transfers on our dedicated page.

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