Hearts contact clubs over striker

Hearts head coach Robbie Neilson

Hearts head coach Robbie Neilson

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Hearts have made contact with several clubs as they aim to sign a striker once the January transfer window opens.

Tynecastle officials are looking at two English-based forwards and two from abroad in the hope of completing a permanent deal for one early in the new year. The club’s head coach Robbie Neilson is keen to recruit a new striker quickly, but stressed today that he will not be rushed into a signing. With Osman Sow, Soufian El Hassnaoui and Dale Carrick all injured, he has only James Keatings and teenager Gary Oliver fit in attack.

It remains to be seen whether a deal can be done for any new forward in time for the Edinburgh derby with Hibs this weekend. If not, Hearts will press to finalise negotiations next week.

Neilson explained that the process is not straightforward and that he has several options to choose from.

“There are people we’re interested in and we have made contact, but these things take time to get the right one,” he told the Evening News.

“We speak to agents and we speak to players.

“There are still two or three who are available that we’re trying to push through to make sure we get one of them. It’s just taking that wee bit longer.

“The window doesn’t open until January 1. Once that opens, I’d like to get a striker in sooner rather than later but I don’t want to rush it.

“There are a couple of English ones and a couple of foreign ones as well.

“There are good players out there.

“The problem with the English market is that the salaries a lot of players are looking for far outstrip what you can get quality-wise on the continent. It’s just getting the right one.

“I’d like it to be a permanent deal but if something comes up on loan then fine.

“The ones we are looking at just now are all permanent.”