HEARTS expect Callum Paterson to stay at Tynecastle beyond the January transfer window. However, the club are preparing in case Osman Sow chooses to leave this summer.
Head coach Robbie Neilson believes Paterson is not yet ready to move on despite being monitored by clubs in England. He is contracted until summer 2017 and Neilson stressed it would take a “crazy” offer for Hearts to sell the defender.
Sow’s contract expires in June and he is assessing options now he is free to talk to other clubs. The Swedish striker, 25, is content in Edinburgh but will explore interest from elsewhere before deciding on his future.
Hearts are keen to extend his contract, with Neilson admitting they simply must wait until the player makes up his mind. “Sow is one we’d like to get sorted but he’s got options. That’s part of football and part of life these days that players will look around,” Neilson told the Evening News.
“I’ve got no issue with Os at all. He’s been fantastic with us, he’s worked hard and scored goals. It’s up to him and his agent, they’ll be looking at other things to see what’s out there and that’s part of the game. Hopefully he decides he wants to stay here. If he doesn’t, so be it. We move on. Os doesn’t take anything to do with it at all. His agent deals with everything. Os is just a laidback guy who just concentrates on his football. He knows Saturday is the most important thing for him. Everything else outwith that – other teams or anything else going on – is nothing to do with Saturday. That’s when he makes his living and makes his reputation. He concentrates on that.
“We’ll hopefully try and get something done. We’ve spoken but these things take time. What I don’t want to do is make an issue of it. I want him to concentrate on his football. He’ll play games here and score goals so we’ll see where it takes us.”
On Paterson, Neilson predicted that the player won’t leave during the current transfer window. “There’s always going to be interest in the players at Hearts. Callum is a good player who has matured a lot in the last year. I still think he’s got a way to go before he’s ready [to move on] but it’s like anything in football, there is interest there – Callum, Sam Nicholson, Billy King, them all. It’s important we accept that.
“There’s been nothing in terms of contact. The window opens today so nothing was likely to happen before that. Callum understands the need to play regularly so I don’t see it being an issue. Unless somebody comes in with a crazy offer, he’s not going to go. I don’t expect him to go.”