REPRESENTATIVES of Hearts defender Ryan McGowan are eager to begin talks with the club over a contract extension for the player amid concerns that he could be sold before the transfer window closes at the end of August.
Lou Sticca, McGowan’s Australia-based agent, is worried that Tynecastle officials may opt to cash in on his client. He stressed today that McGowan has no wish to leave Tynecastle and would welcome dialogue over a new deal as his current agreement enters its final year.
Hearts will listen to sensible offers for any of their players as they look to streamline the first-team squad. Club officials are aware McGowan’s stock is higher than ever at present following a successful season last year, which finished with him scoring in the 5-1 Scottish Cup Final defeat of Hibs.
Sticca, though, believes it would not be in the 22-year-old’s best interests to leave Edinburgh having finally established himself as a first-team regular and edged towards the fringes of the Australian national team.
“I have had no approach from any club officially wanting to sign Ryan nor am I actively searching around. Ryan is very happy at Hearts,” Sticca told the Evening News. “He has been in Edinburgh for five years now after leaving Adelaide in Australia as a teenager. His younger sibling, Dylan, is also back after being out on loan in Australia and played first-team football. Both are raring to go and want to be playing each other in Hearts’ best eleven.
“I personally hope Hearts start talking about a new contract to keep Ryan at Tynecastle. Ryan has loved every minute at Hearts and, at 22, is looking at a great career in football. He is closely monitored by the Australian national team and is highly regarded by the technical staff. Change for change’s sake is not what we are after.
“I am aware of Hearts’ desire to promote its own players and, for me, Ryan is the perfect example of the great work done at youth level by John Murray over the last few years. Ultimately players are not really in control of their destiny so that really rests with Hearts’ owners. My dealings with Sergejus Fedotovas over the last number of years have been professional and respectful. Ryan wants to stay so my job is to facilitate that with Hearts.”
McGowan is likely to feature in Saturday’s friendly between Hearts and Raith Rovers at Stark’s Park, as is American trialist Anton Peterlin. The 25-year-old has been training at Riccarton.