Hearts want Prince Buaben to prove his fitness

The manager of the Maroons has told the Ghanaian to show how fit he is if he wants a contract with them

Hearts boss Robbie Neilson has challenged Prince Buaben to prove his fitness and recapture his Dundee United form to earn a full contract at Midlothian.

The Ghanaian midfielder’s trials with the Edinburgh club has been extended, and head coach Neilson wants the player to prove himself worthy of a permanent deal.

Buaben, 26, spent four years at United between 2007 and 2011 having been signed by Craig Levein, who is now Hearts’ director of football.

Neilson admitted that the player’s fitness needs work on after he joined Hearts on trial in England last week.

Neilson said he would consider offering a contract if Buaben reproduces the form which made him a favourite at Tannadice. “He’s a wee bit off in terms of fitness and he needs a bit more training, so he’s coming up here to train for a few days,” he told the Evening News.

“That gives us a look at him again. We could do with getting one more in. We’ll just see how he gets on fitness-wise and take it from there. He’s a good player and a good character. If he can get himself back to where he was at Dundee United, then he’ll definitely be an asset for us.”

Neilson added: “I thought he would be here about a week, although there’s no time limit on it. He’s coming in for a few days and we’ll take it from there. He might be involved against East Fife if he stays but I’m not sure about the Hamilton game.”