HEARTS plan to offer midfielder Miguel Pallardo an extended contract before the end of the year.
The Tynecastle club want to secure the 29-year-old’s long-term future before his existing deal expires at the end of the season.
He would be free to sign a pre-contract agreement with another club come January but Hearts intend to make their move before then. Pallardo has moved his wife and family to Scotland from Spain and is now settled in Edinburgh. Hearts want to keep him here following a series of influential displays since he signed in September 2014.
“It’s something we will look at in the next couple of months,” explained head coach Robbie Neilson. “Miguel knows we like him and he’s enjoying his time here. Hopefully it’s something we can sorted.
“I’d like to get it finalised before January and he would like to as well so that he has a bit of security about him.
“His wife and his two kids are over here now so I’m sure he’ll be keen to get the contract situation sorted and get everything tied up.
“I don’t think he’s hankering after a return to Spain. I think he’s pretty settled, his kids are at school and nursery here so he’s quite content. I’d like to try and keep him here if we can but it’s something we’ll need to discuss.” Hearts are already making moves to extend contracts for other players whose deals finish next summer, including striker Osman Sow and defender Igor Rossi. Midfielder Arnaud Djoum’s short-term agreement runs until January but he has already been offered an extension. The player’s agent is due in Edinburgh in the next few days in the hope of finalising the deal.
Pallardo is the latest to join that list. His impact this season has been limited due to injuries and, as such, he made only his fifth appearance of the season against Hamilton last weekend. However, his ability and vision in midfield make him a player Neilson is delighted to see fit again.
“It is like having a new player in a sense,” he said. “Miguel picked up an injury in pre-season, then he got a bad kick in the calf after he came back.
“His fitness is there, it’s just keeping it sustained and getting him back into the team. It won’t be a problem because he’s a good player and he’ll be involved throughout the season.
“I’ve got four real quality players who can play in those two central midfield roles. Last Saturday, I played three of them because we have that luxury. Buaben, Gomis, Pallardo and Djoum are all good players. They give us a really solid base in that area.”