Alex Cochrane has formalised a return to Hearts from Brighton for an undisclosed fee.
The English defender, 22, spent last season on loan at Hearts and has agreed a three-year contract at Tynecastle.
The deal is subject to international clearance and manager Robbie Neilson told Hearts' website: "I hope he can pick up from where he left off last season and hit the ground running.
"His versatility on that left side is hugely important to the way we play."
Cochrane, who helped Hearts finish third in the Scottish Premiership and reach the Scottish Cup final, scored three goals in 40 appearances last term and has also played for East Grinstead Town and in Belgium with Union Saint-Gilloise.