Hearts boss Robbie Neilson provides updates on Lawrence Shankland and Kye Rowles

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Robbie Neilson has revealed that there has been no movement in the club’s bid to lure Lawrence Shankland to Edinburgh, but he is looking at other targets.

The former Dundee United striker has been on the Hearts manager’s radar for some time, but talks with his Belgium side Beerschot have not progressed.

Neilson brought Shankland to Tannadice during his time in charge at Dundee United and had been hoping to get a reunion secured before Hearts’ Premiership season kicks off at home to Ross County on July 30.

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Shankland made a £1million move to Beerschot from United last summer. He was the club’s top scorer, despite their relegation from the Jupiler Pro League, netting five goals from 20 starts. But dropping out of the top-flight had prompted speculation Shankland may look to move back to Scotland.

Hearts boss Robbie Neilson got the best out of Lawrence Shankland. Picture: SNSHearts boss Robbie Neilson got the best out of Lawrence Shankland. Picture: SNS
Hearts boss Robbie Neilson got the best out of Lawrence Shankland. Picture: SNS

“He's still a Beershot player, so there’s no movement,” Neilson told the Edinburgh Evening News. “I'm sure there are a lot of teams interested in him. But we're still looking to strengthen in that area and we have a number of targets. We have to do that.”

Neilson, who is still looking to bring in a right-sided centre-back, has confirmed that Australia centre-back Kye Rowles is on his way to Edinburgh after receiving his visa.

The 24-year-old summer signing from Central Coast Mariners was due to report to Riccarton last Thursday, but was unable to travel because of the delayed arrival of his paperwork.

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That has now been resolved and means Rowles could get his first run-out in maroon away to Preston North End on Wednesday.

Fellow Socceroo international Nathaniel Atkinson played 86 minutes last night in the 2-1 pre-season win away to Tranmere Rovers in what was the right wing-back’s first pre-season run-out after an extended break due to Australia’s World Cup play-off exploits.

“He looks good and I thought he did well,” added Neilson. “It is his first game in a long time, so he'll get stronger and stronger.”