HEARTS have opened talks with freed Rangers goalkeeper Scott Gallacher’s agent and will pursue a deal for trialist Osman Sow after he flew back into Edinburgh last night.
After the signing of midfielder Prince Buaben on a one-year contract was announced this morning, head coach Robbie Neilson could potentially sign another two new recruits before the new season begins.
Gallacher’s representatives were due to speak with Hearts officials again today about a potential move to the Capital for the 25-year-old, who is a free agent after leaving Rangers. Neilson brought 36-year-old Neil Alexander north from Crystal Palace last month but would like another goalkeeper to improve competition.
Several Scottish Premiership clubs are also interested in Gallacher and it remains to be seen if he wants to play top-flight football or join Hearts in the Championship.
Sow arrived back in Edinburgh last night hoping to seal a contract at Tynecastle. Neilson wants to sign the imposing Swedish forward, who scored in last weekend’s friendly against East Fife, but negotations are expected to drag on into next week. Another trialist striker, Rafael Uiterloo, has returned to his native Holland with a decision yet to be made on whether he is invited back to Riccarton.
Neilson explained why he wants several attacking choices for the season ahead. He has already signed James Keatings and Soufian El Hassnaoui to compete with young forwards Dale Carrick and Gary Oliver.
“It’s important we have different options we can play in different games,” he told the Evening News. “There will be certain games this season when we will need different things. Some teams will sit in against us, some teams will press against us, some will play with a high defensive line and others will use a deep line. I’m trying to get a variety of strikers who can do different things.
“Dale Carrick is quick, makes runs in behind and closes people down. Gary Oliver drops in and plays more in the No. 10 role. Soufian El Hassnaoui is more of an all-round guy who can do just about anything for us. He’s a clever player who can bring people into play. James Keatings is a penalty-box player. If teams are sitting in, he’s got clever movement to get himself on the ball. Sow has real blistering pace, so there’s lots of variety.”
Asked about 23-year-old Uiterloo, Neilson said: “Rafa came through the Ajax academy and was playing in the top league in Holland at 18. Then came a big-money move to Saudi Arabia and he lost his way a bit. He found himself back from there and trying to kickstart himself again. If it does happen, then we might be the team that gives him that opportunity. Ultimately, it’s down to him if he wants it.”
Meanwhile, Hearts have appointed former Dundee chief executive Scot Gardiner in a management role to work closely with the club’s new board.