‘Quality not quantity’ as Hearts boss targets recruits

Hearts head coach Robbie Neilson wants to sign 'three or four' players this summer
Hearts head coach Robbie Neilson wants to sign 'three or four' players this summer
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HEARTS intend to sign three or four new players this summer, with a striker top of the priority list.

Head coach Robbie Neilson today confirmed plans to add quality recruits to his squad ahead of their European campaign.

A new forward is wanted, along with a goalkeeper as back-up to Neil Alexander. Neilson intends to send Jack Hamilton out on loan next season and will therefore need another deputy. With Abiola Dauda returning to parent club Vitesse Arnhem, a striker is also on the agenda.

Hearts will operate a larger first-team pool next season having reached the Europa League qualifying rounds. Several youngsters, such as Dario Zanatta, Liam Smith, Angus Beith and Robbie Buchanan are likely to make the step up from the under-20s to the senior squad.

They will be supplemented by three to four new arrivals. “We want to add quality, so we won’t sign too many. We have a decent squad here so three or four, at the very most, is all we need to bring in,” Neilson told the Evening News.

“It all depends what’s out there. We want to strengthen every area of the team. It’s important that, whoever comes in, is better than the ones leaving or the ones already here. I’ve got ideas of exactly where I want to strengthen, so that’s where we’ll target and then we’ll see what else we can pick up.”

Talks with Polish defender Blazej Augustyn are due to take place before the end of the week. He is out of contract and his Tynecastle future may depend on whether he is willing to stay on without being an automatic choice at centre-back.

“I haven’t spoken to him yet. He’s played a number of games this season, as they all have, but it’s important everyone is happy here,” said Neilson.