The 35-year-old left Villa at the end of last season, following their promotion to the Premier League.
Levein wants to make him a Jambo following his Villa Park stint.
The Jambos boss told the Edinburgh Evening News after Hearts’ match against Aberdeen: “We are continuing to speak to him and are hopeful we can get something done because I think you could see today we need a bit of experience in that area.”
Whelan gives Levein experience that he doesn’t possess at Hearts
The midfield that started against Aberdeen was inexperienced. Andy Irving and Sean Clare were tasked with matching the likes of Funso Ojo, Lewis Ferguson and Jon Gallagher.
One has only broken into the senior setup, whilst another has just transitioned into a central midfielder.
Levein’s in dire need of an experienced central midfielder, one that can do the dirty work and operate more like a CDM. Whelan fits that description perfectly.
He loves a tackle. When he wins the ball, he can pick a good pass too. Even at 35, he is still very fit, proven by the fact he played 35 league games in a very competitive Villa side last season.
Whelan would be coming to Gorgie with 465 games played in the Premier League and the Championship. With 85 caps for Ireland to his name also, Whelan is an established player at a high level. The likes of Irving would only benefit from playing alongside someone of that caliber.
Hearts will be hoping to get this one over the line quickly.