The Tannadice club are adamant they are due training compensation under FIFA rules after the 19-year-old signed a three-year contract at Tynecastle Park earlier this month.
Hearts believe they do not owe United a penny. Neilson was offered a contract extension on Tayside earlier this year but rejected it in favour of a move to Tynecastle Park. The dispute surrounds when exactly United lodged that formal offer with the player and the Scottish Professional Football League.
With the Edinburgh club announcing that they signed Neilson as a “free transfer”, and neither side willing to budge so far, a transfer tribunal would be the next step. United’s sporting director, Tony Asghar, is prepared to fight for the cash through official channels.
“There’s been a lot of talk about Lewis Neilson,” Asghar told our sister paper, The Scotsman. “We have a case that I assume will next go to tribunal. We feel that we’re due compensation as a football club. That’s with our legal team and the SPFL at present.”
When asked if he was confident of success, Asghar replied: “Very confident.”
Neilson is one of three new signings at Hearts so far this summer. Australian centre-back Kyle Rowles is due to arrive from Central Coast Mariners next month and winger Alan Forrest is already on board after leaving Livingston on freedom of contract.
More signings will follow as the club work to finalise the capture of Alex Cochrane from Brighton and Hove Albion. The Peterborough United midfielder Jorge Grant has also agreed to move to Edinburgh, while Beerschot striker Lawrence Shankland remains a target.