Aston Villa failed to renew Whelan's deal at the end of last season.
Whelan was one of Aston Villa's most important players in the final stages of last season, and helped them to promotion via the Championship play-offs.
But with his 36th birthday to due arrive midway through the new campaign, the midfielder's deal was not renewed.
A number of English second tier clubs have been linked with moves for Whelan, but reports the former Aston Villa man could continue his career north of the border have intensified in recent weeks.
And after a couple of days without any updates, the Irishman is now back training with Hearts as he prepares to sign a 12-month contract, according to the Scottish Sun.
Whelan, who spent two seasons on Aston Villa's books, would reunite with his former Sheffield Wednesday teammate, Steven MacLean, at Hearts.
Despite his Championship spells with Aston Villa and Wednesday, the Republic of Ireland international spent the bulk of his career playing Premier League football for Stoke City.
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