Hearts keen to tie Andraz Struna to long-term deal

Andraz Struna has impressed Hearts coach Ian Cathro
Andraz Struna has impressed Hearts coach Ian Cathro
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Hearts want to sign right-back Andraz Struna on a long-term deal and install him as Callum Paterson’s permanent replacement.

The Slovenian internationalist has impressed since arriving in Scotland in January and Tynecastle officials hope he will now agree to a longer stay.

Paterson has confirmed his desire to leave Hearts later this year once he recovers from knee ligament damage. His contract expires at the end of the season but he won’t be persuaded to sign a new one and intends heading to England.

That news means head coach Ian Cathro and director of football Craig Levein must move swiftly to secure 27-year-old Struna. He holds 25 Slovenian international caps and is part of the squad which will face Scotland at Hampden in Sunday’s World Cup qualifier. Struna has played 11 times in maroon so far but his short-term contract finishes at the end of May. Several assured displays at right-back make him a player Hearts want to keep for next season.

“We’re in the process of having conversations with some of the players who are currently here until the end of the season,” said head coach Ian Cathro. “We’re starting to address those things just now. Andraz is a player we feel good about and we’ll be having conversations with him.”