The news that three English Championship clubs have made contract offers to Josh Ginnelly will not be welcomed by Hearts or the club's supporters.
An inconsistent (or injured) winger for the majority of his first two-and-a-half seasons at Tynecastle, he was electric in the second half of the 2022/23 campaign, scoring regularly, stretching the opposition and building up a terrific partnership with Lawrence Shankland after being converted into a forward.
With the player previously admitting he wants to be closer to his family – who currently stay down south – it’s looking increasingly likely that he moves on with his contract up this summer, especially as Maccabi Haifa are another contender who can offer Champions League football.
With this in mind, this author has put on his scouting cap and tried to identify a group of forwards with similar styles to Ginnelly which Hearts can target and realistically get this transfer window.
1. Dipo Akinyemi (Ayr United)
The top scorer in the Scottish Championship last season would represent something of a gamble as we're yet unsure whether he can do it in the top flight, but then people said the same of Lawrence Shankland. A fee in the low six-figures would be required, however, as he still has a year left on his deal. Photo: Pete Norton
2. Siriki Dembele (Bournemouth)
Raised in Scotland since he was 8, the winger/striker is the older brother of Karamoko Dembele, who was once labelled a 'wonderkid' at Celtic. Siriki was loaned out by Bournemouth in January to Auxerre and will likely be shipped out again with first-team opportunities limited in the EPL. Hearts should have a decent relationship with the Cherries after James Hill's loan. Photo: FRED TANNEAU
3. Samuel Shashoua (Tenerife)
A former Tottenham youth player, from London, Shashoua is out of contract this summer and is likely to move on from Tenerife have started only five games in the Spanish second tier last term. He's only 24 years old so would represent potential sell-on value if he performs well. A great dribbler as well as playing with pace, he can operate up front, on the wing or in the attacking-midfield role. Photo: Nathan Stirk
4. Sean Maguire (free agent)
Another player available on a free and a more experienced option at 29 years of age, he's currently without a club after being released by play-off finalists Coventry City following a move in the January window from Preston, where he spent over five years. Has 11 caps for the Republic of Ireland. Photo: Lewis Storey