Robbie Neilson sifts through list of players

James Keatings, left, scored 15 goals in 35 games for Accies last season. Picture: Lisa McPhillips
James Keatings, left, scored 15 goals in 35 games for Accies last season. Picture: Lisa McPhillips
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HEARTS head coach Robbie Neilson hopes to have several players signed within the next week once his club officially exit administration.

But stressed today that sifting through the endless lists submitted by agents is taking a considerable amount of time.

Midfielder Morgaro Gomis and striker James Keatings are likely to be the first two players unveiled by Neilson, with goalkeeper Neil Alexander also in advanced talks.

Defender Darren McGregor is pursuing an offer from Rangers but a contract from Hearts remains on the table for the former St Mirren centre-back.

Neilson explained that he is also looking abroad for potential new recruits to aid his bid for promotion back to the Premiership next season.

The Edinburgh club hope to emerge from administration tomorrow and then begin announcing signings as soon as possible.

“I’d like to try and get a few done by the end of the week once we come out of administration. Then we can take things from there,” Neilson told the Evening News.

“There are plenty of names getting put forward to us. It’s just about getting the right ones in, which is difficult. You need to do a lot of background checks on players. I speak to people I know in different countries who have played against them or know them as people.

“You get names thrown at you from all over the world and it’s easy to go on Wyscout and say ‘he looks decent’. He’s maybe scored a couple of goals or made a couple of tackles.

“You need to sit down and watch three or four of their games and also get a reference on the player from somebody you trust.

“Players all send in their references that you can check with but it’s probably their mates. If you’re a player looking for a club, you aren’t going to send in a reference who won’t give you 100 per cent backing. That’s why it’s important we go and do it ourselves, which we’re still doing just now.”