Hearts will hold crucial talks to determine the futures of their out-of-contract players before the end of the month. Nine first-team members have deals expiring at the end of the season, although not all will be kept on.
Callum Paterson, Alex Tziolis, Aaron Hughes, Sam Nicholson, Tasos Avlonitis, Dylan Bikey, Andraz Struna, Rory Currie and Lennard Sowah are all out of contract this summer.
Paterson and Nicholson already rejected the offer of a new deal but Hearts have not abandoned hope that they could be persuaded to stay.
Head coach Ian Cathro has already identified who he wants to retain for next season and will work over the next few weeks to put agreements in place. “We’ve started to have little conversations and are assessing some things,” he told the Evening News. “Of course, it’s not a priority right now. At important football clubs, when results aren’t right, you have to focus on what you do day-to-day. You switch off a little bit from other parts.
“Of course, other things need to be going on and need to be dealt with but we need to focus on the most important things right now to make sure we get the results we need.
“We are aware of some conversations that we’re looking to have and we will be making progress on those things, certainly prior to the end of this month.”