HEARTS are finalising a deal to sign Everton striker Ellis Simms on loan, according to reports.

The Edinburgh outfit are keen to bolster their attacking options after loaning Jamie Walker to Bradford City and with Arman Gnanduillet leaving for Le Mans earlier this month.

The Scotsman reports that a loan deal is close to being finalised for the 21-year-old and he could travel north in time to take part in tonight’s game against Celtic.

A loan agreement until the end of the season has been discussed between Hearts and Everton, with Simms keen to gain more first-team football.

Simms is part of Everton’s under-23 team and made his English Premier League debut last month when Everton drew 1-1 with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

The youngster also scored 10 goals in 24 appearances during a loan spell at Blackpool during the second half of last season, helping to contribute to their promotion to the Championship before returning to Everton.

Everton officials have been monitoring Beni Baningime’s progress, who joined Hearts from Everton in the summer, and they believe Simms could develop well at the same club.