Hearts manager Craig Levein revealed today that he is working on another four signings despite adding eight new recruits to his squad already this summer.
A specialist defensive midfielder to replace Joaquim Adao is high on the priority list alongside another centre-back. Levein also continues trying to bring last season’s loanees Steven Naismith and David Milinkovic back to Tynecastle Park from Norwich City and Genoa respectively.
Later in the summer, he could even add two further signings. He wants a back-up goalkeeper and hopes to secure another loan deal for the Manchester United left-back Demetri Mitchell.
That could see Hearts start the new Ladbrokes Premiership with up to 14 signings in place. For now, Levein is concentrating on four areas of prime concern.
“I’m still working on a few things,” he explained to the Evening News. “We need a centre-back. Even if Aaron Hughes does stay, I still need another central defender. That’s something I’m looking at.
“We need a proper defensive midfielder now that Joaquim is away, so I’m also exploring that area. Then there’s Naismith and David, which are both ongoing, so we’ll see how that goes.”
Hughes has yet to officially announce whether he will retire or continue playing for another year. He turns 39 in November but indications are that he is keen to play on.
Adao spent the second half of last season on loan at Hearts from the Swiss club FC Sion. The Evening News revealed last week that he would not be returning to Edinburgh, and Levein is now seeking a replacement in the holding midfield role.