Neil Warnock persuaded Charlton’s former transfer target Loic Damour to choose Hearts over them and other interested clubs.

Damour, who Warnock described as a “manager’s dream”, was apparently being courted by the Addicks this past summer alongside two other unnamed teams.

But the 70-year-old encouraged the midfielder, who made just two appearances for Cardiff in their ill-fated Premier League return, to choose Edinburgh.

In an interview with Edinburgh Evening News, Warnock said: “A few clubs down here wanted him – Charlton and another couple – but I said to him, ‘Edinburgh is the place, Loic. It’s a gorgeous place’.

“I’ve always wanted to manage up there. I like Craig [Levein, Hearts’ manager] and I told Loic that if Craig is in for him then that’s the one to choose.

“Craig had rung me for about five weeks about him. At first I said, ‘No chance’, but he wore me down.

“I think Craig made it clear how much he wanted to sign him. When the lad spoke to me about Charlton, I said, ‘Loic, you can’t afford to live in London. It’s unbelievable.

“’In Edinburgh, you’ll be in the team, you’ll love the city, the fans are fantastic and Craig is a good bloke’. I just thought it fitted him, really.”

After spending two years in Wales, Damour signed a four-year deal with Hearts and cited it as a “new chapter” for both him and his family.

He has since made a handful of appearances at Tynecastle Park. After starting in both their first two league games, he played the full match in a 2-1 Scottish League Cup win at Motherwell.

Warnock added: “He [Damour] came to me and said, ‘Gaffer, I’ve got to play games’. A lot of people would have just kept him here, just to have him in the squad.

“He wasn’t one of our high earners, but when he came to see me I felt for him. He said he had to be playing so I said, ‘Loic, Hearts is your club’.”