Hearts want defender Jordan McGhee to stay put

Jordan McGhee came close to joining Middlesbrough in January
Jordan McGhee came close to joining Middlesbrough in January
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Hearts expect defender Jordan McGhee to stay at Tynecastle and push for a regular first-team place next season.

Despite a loan move to Middlesbrough collapsing at the end of the winter transfer window, head coach Robbie Neilson believes McGhee’s future lies in Gorgie.

The teenager managed 28 appearances in the season just ended, although 13 of those were as a substitute. He turns 20 in July and is eager to play week in, week out in season 2016/17. Neilson is confident he can achieve that with Hearts.

He insists McGhee will have a significant part to play when the Europa League first qualifying round kicks off at the end of next month. The Middlesbrough loan proposal could well be resurrected over the summer but the Teesside club have just secured promotion to England’s Premier League. Their focus right now is recruiting more experience for the top flight.

In any case, Neilson hopes McGhee will have plenty to contribute for Hearts over the coming months. “The Middlesbrough thing was something that we felt was good for both parties at the time in January,” the head coach told the Evening News.

“Now, with the European side of things and more games coming up, it’s important we have a good squad. Jordan has matured a little bit so he’ll be back with the squad. I don’t see any change in that. I see him staying for next season, playing more games and pushing to try and get a regular spot.”

Meanwhile, Hearts fans are buying season tickets twice as fast as last year, with 5000 snapped up in the first week of sales. The Tynecastle club reported rapid sales figures in the first seven days since seats were available to renew.

Supporters are backing the team in numbers after they finished third and qualified for Europe in their first season back in the Ladbrokes Premiership. A statement on the club website confirmed that fans are queueing up to renew ahead of the June 6 deadline.

“A fantastic first week has seen the club sell over 5,000 season tickets within seven days of them going on sale. By comparison, it took two weeks to reach the 5,000 mark last season,” read part of the statement.

“The deadline for renewing existing season tickets is Monday, June 6. Any non-season ticket holders wishing to purchase one for next season should act quickly, however, with fewer than 100 new tickets remaining. Any non-renewed seats will subsequently be released for sale on Tuesday June 7.