Ian Cathro hasn’t ruled out the possibility of Jordan McGhee staying at Hearts beyond January when his current deal expires.
McGhee has featured in both of Hearts’ pre-season friendlies so far this summer – against Livingston and St Patrick’s Athletic – his first outings in maroon for over a year since leaving for a season-long loan stint with Middlesbrough 12 months ago.
With John Souttar’s return to fitness following a ruptured Achilles tendon being carefully managed, McGhee’s availability again has been timely for Cathro, who is open to retaining the former Scotland Under-21 captain’s services beyond the new year.
“Jordan’s situation wasn’t something that I was involved in,” said the Hearts head coach. “I knew of him a bit and, of course, we looked into it and saw some of his matches from last season. He is a Hearts player and is with us and we are working with each other with an open mind.
“The contractual situation is a little out of the ordinary as it runs out a little earlier than normal (December) but we will address it when we need to address it and have discussions about it when the time is right.”
Cathro also hailed the impact made by returning captain Christophe Berra, believing the benefit of recruiting big personalities has been evident during this week’s training camp in Dublin.
“There has definitely been an impact,” he said. “Christophe has already made an impact. There is a bit more strength and a good feeling growing here. We are still a little bit away from competition and have a lot to do. We need to quietly get on with our work.
“Does he lead by example or is he vocal? The fair answer is probably a bit of both. He is at a stage in his career that he wants to take responsibility and it is natural to him. He leads by example in everything he does.
“At the start of the training session, he is the first guy out on the pitch. He spends time practising and working on additional things. We have a lot of young players here working with us, which is great, and they are working harder and longer. It is even easier – not that it would be difficult – for them to want to work when they see the lead players in the team also doing it.”