Hearts exit on the cards for Josh Ginnelly

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Hearts will listen to offers for winger Josh Ginnelly as he edges towards a potential exit from Tynecastle before the transfer window closes.

Clubs in Britain and abroad have expressed interest in the 25-year-old and he is willing to explore different options for a move. Hearts won’t be difficult to deal with but they want some kind of recompense in order to let Ginnelly leave.

His contract runs until summer 2023 and the Edinburgh club will seek some form of fee, add-on or sell-on agreement for a transfer this month.

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The Englishman has fallen down the queue for starting places after missing several of Hearts’ pre-season friendlies due to a thigh injury. He returned in time to take a spot on the substitutes’ bench for Sunday’s Edinburgh derby at Easter Road.

He is keen to play more regularly with competition fierce in forward areas this season. Alan Forrest and Lawrence Shankland are new signings competing with Ginnelly, Gary Mackay-Steven, Barrie McKay, Liam Boyce, Euan Henderson, Connor Smith and Finlay Pollock for attacking spots in the side.

Ginnelly initially joined Hearts on a season-loan from Preston North End in summer 2020. Injury ended his 2020/21 campaign prematurely but manager Robbie Neilson signed him on a permanent two-year contract in June 2021 as the club returned to the Premiership.

He managed five goals in 38 appearances last season as Hearts finished third in the top flight and reached the Scottish Cup final. They also qualified for the Europa League play-off which begins next week against the winner of this evening’s tie between Linfield and FC Zurich.