HEARTS have rejected a verbal offer of £300,000 from Sheffield Wednesday for defender Ryan McGowan.
The Championship club will need to submit an official bid of at least double that amount before Hearts consider selling one of their key players. The Evening News has learned Hearts are keen to offer a new contract to McGowan, whose current agreement expires at the end of the season. The player wants to stay in Edinburgh after establishing himself as a first-team regular last year. Earlier this week, he received his first call-up to the full Australian national team. It remains to be seen whether Sheffield Wednesday return with an official offer for the 22-year-old. Hearts would be looking for £600,000-£750,000 at the moment, and more if McGowan signs a contract extension. If a new deal is not signed by January, the player would be eligible to sign a pre-contract agreement with another club and Hearts could therefore lose him for free. The Edinburgh club are keen to promote more youths to the first-team squad and McGowan is considered an ideal role model for aspiring kids. He left his native Adelaide as a 16-year-old in 2006 to enrol in the Riccarton youth academy and progressed through its various age-group teams to reach senior level.
Despite still being relatively young, he is now considered an important part of Hearts’ first-team under boss John McGlynn.