Race on to snap up Aussie teen star Kuol

Garang Kuol, Australia's hottest soccer prospect, is a man in demand as British clubs clamour to snap him up on loan from Premier League challengers Newcastle United.

The teenager sparked a social media buzz on Thursday when photographed touring Scottish Premiership club Hearts, prompting the prospect that he could be temporarily reunited with three of his Socceroo World Cup teammates there.

Hearts boss Robbie Neilson, who already has Nathaniel Atkinson, Cammy Devlin and Kye Rowles on the Edinburgh club's roster, confirmed Kuol had been at the club's training base for talks about a loan deal after officially joining high-flying Newcastle at the start of the year.

But Neilson said no deal for the striker was yet imminent, telling reporters: "He's a player we're interested in so he came up for a look around with his agent. He's got a number of clubs 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 (Central Coast Mariners) that Kye Rowles was at.

"The opportunity came to speak to him so we brought him up and we'll see where it goes. It's still at the very early stages. It will depend what other clubs are in for him."

Reports have linked Kuol with other Scottish top-flight and English Championship clubs, but Hearts are a good bet with their current Australian trio all living in the same Edinburgh apartment block.

All popular there, the trio are known as the 'Jambo-roos' after the Scottish club's nickname, the Jambos.

Hearts are currently third in the Premiership, even if a yawning 24 points behind runaway leaders, Ange Postecoglou's Celtic, and 15 behind second-placed Rangers.

Newcastle, third in the Premier League, are keen to give Kuol a taste of the bustling British game following his dramatic World Cup baptism that ended with the youngster nearly netting a last-gasp equaliser against eventual champions Argentina in the last-16.

Newcastle boss Eddie Howe took no time in suggesting Kuol needed a temporary home, announcing this week: "I do think that for the player's development, he needs to go and play.

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