HEARTS were today preparing for a potentially busy transfer deadline day as majority shareholder Vladimir Romanov admitted he will sell any player he feels is preoccupied with money on offer elsewhere.
Romanov said any player interested in what wages other clubs can pay should leave Tynecastle immediately. David Templeton, goalscorer in last night’s commendable 1-1 draw with Liverpool at Anfield, is wanted by Rangers along with Ryan McGowan. The Glasgow club are also monitoring 17-year-old Callum Paterson.
However, Hearts have themselves made an offer which could see midfielder Ryan Stevenson rejoin the club from Ipswich Town just nine months after walking out over late payment of wages.
Rangers had a combined bid of £1.3million for Templeton and McGowan rejected yesterday afternoon, but discussions between the clubs are ongoing. Romanov is keen to secure maximum value for any departing player and will not tolerate anyone’s head being turned by interest from other teams.
“I believe that every single player is proud to play for the team. Every player has to fight for the team,” said Romanov, speaking exclusively to the Evening News. “When other teams are trying to offer money to players through their agents, and a player starts to consider this, he is losing his passion for being part of the team. He is looking for money, not for the team.”
Asked specifically about Templeton, he replied: “If he chooses the money, I am not willing to see Templeton in the team any more. If he decides to take that money, he can go.”
The Hearts manager John McGlynn conceded after last night’s Europa League play-off second leg at Anfield that moves were afoot to lure Stevenson back to Tynecastle. “There is a chance. We have shown an interest,” he said, whilst stressing he would much rather add to his squad than lose any established players.
“I hope I can hang on to them all,” continued McGlynn. “Hopefully Mr Romanov sees what the players have achieved against Liverpool with a moral victory. Hopefully he can see that, if we were to put some players into the squad, then who knows what kind of season we could have? This might give him more of a concern to go and add to the squad rather than maybe lose players.
“I don’t want to lose a player like David Templeton but he’s in the last year of his contract now. If there’s a bid that the board of directors feel is one they can’t turn down, then maybe there will be something done. No-one came to me and said David Templeton wasn’t a Hearts player any more so I picked him on that basis last night.
“Templeton is a very talented football player. I’ve heard that Ally McCoist and Mr Green have spoken but maybe somebody else will take a fancy to him now. Maybe his stock has risen after last night. I just hope he’s a player on the Tynecastle pitch at three o’clock on Sunday against Dundee.”