Craig Halkett signs new Hearts contract as club await answer from another key player

Hearts defender Craig Halkett has extended his contract as the club await a response from team-mate Stephen Kingsley.

Tuesday, 11th January 2022, 12:43 pm
Updated Tuesday, 11th January 2022, 1:38 pm

Halkett agreed a new two-and-a-half-year deal to remain at Tynecastle Park until 2024. Kingsley has also been offered new terms in an effort to keep him beyond the expiry of his existing deal this summer.

Both defenders have been consistent performers for the Edinburgh club this season and are seen as important players for the future. Hearts are hopeful Kingsley will follow Halkett and put pen to paper soon.

“I’m delighted that Craig has committed his future to the club,” manager Robbie Neilson told the official club website. “He’s a big player for us and he’s really come into his own this season with some standout performances.

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Craig Halkett has signed a new deal at Hearts.

“To have him around for the next two-and-a-half years is welcome news and I’m sure he and the team will continue to go from strength to strength.”

Hearts sporting director Joe Savage also welcomed the news and stated that Halkett is very much a key figure at Tynecastle. “We want to keep our best players at the club so that we can continue to progress, and Craig has been a big part of our journey so far,” he said.

“It was, therefore, a no brainer to make him an offer and I’m really happy that there was a keenness from all sides to get it done. It’s great news ahead of our return to action, and I’m hopeful that we’ll have even more good news in the coming days.”

Halkett is in the middle of his third campaign since joining Hearts from Livingston in summer 2019. The Edinburgh club have been down to Championship and back again during that time and are now sitting third in the cinch Premiership table.

With the prospect of European football gradually increasing as the weeks go by, Halkett opted to stay put despite interest from English Championship clubs who wanted to sign him on a pre-contract agreement.

The chance to play tournament football on the Continent was a major attraction for the 26-year-old centre-back. He is confident Hearts can achieve that come May.

“Staying here was something I always had in the back of my mind,” he explained to Hearts TV. “These things always take some time to sort out, but I'm really happy to get it done and I'm looking forward to progressing my career at Hearts.

“It's been quite a journey. Where we are now is probably where I thought we were going to be back in 2019. I always saw this club as one that goes for the top end of the table and pushes for European places; one that wants to get to cup finals and win trophies.

“I feel like we're starting to get to that position. We're in third at the minute and have a chance to progress in the Scottish Cup: that's the aim going forward.

“The manager, the staff, Joe, and the players are all pulling in the same direction. It's a perfect fit.”

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