Tasmania could soon have a soccer star on the European stage, with Nathaniel Atkinson linked with Scottish side Heart of Midlothian FC.
According to an article in the Scottish Daily Press and several other European publications, the 22-year-old Riverside Olympic product is set to join the side by the end of the year.
Commonly known as Hearts, the Jambos play in the Scottish Professional Football League and have reportedly worked out a deal with Melbourne City and are awaiting a work permit for Atkinson.
Atkinson's signing would strengthen an Australian connection with the side, with Cameron Devlin, who was a train-on member of the Olyroos' team, already at the club, while Melbourne City manager Patrick Kisnorbo played there in the early 2000s.
Earlier this year, before his Olympic dream was fulfilled and he was awarded the Joe Marston Medal for player of the final in the A-League, Atkinson spoke in depth about of his European dreams.
"It's always been an aspiration for me to go overseas, test my development and push further on and see what I can make of my career," he said in March.
"Growing up I always watched the Premier League and that's the absolute dream, but anywhere in Europe would be crazy. Even the top leagues in Asia the way they are developing, the sky's the limit at the moment."
Last month, following his successes, he doubled down on the comments, while remaining coy.
"This is my last season on my contract so we'll see what happens at the end of the season but the best way to move forward is to put yourself in the best situation so start the season off well, finish it off strong and the sky's the limit after that," he said.
"I told my agent I want to focus on this year and put myself in the best situation to move on with my career whether that is here or overseas."
After growing up in the West Tamar, attending Riverside Primary and High schools, Atkinson went through City's youth program.
He was recently named player of the match in his first A-League start for the season, which followed three assists against South Melbourne in the FFA Cup Round of 32 and an 88th-minute winner after coming off the bench against Perth Glory in round four.
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