Hearts eye another three new signings

Summer recruitment work at Hearts is far from complete with the club eyeing another three new signings.
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Lawrence Shankland became the sixth player to join the squad after completing a six-figure move from Beerschot on Tuesday, but manager Robbie Neilson hopes to increase that total to nine.

He wants another central defender, a midfielder and a creative attacker before the transfer window closes at the end of August. Tynecastle officials are pleased with business done so far and will not rush further signings after securing Alan Forrest, Kye Rowles, Lewis Neilson, Alex Cochrane, Jorge Grant and Shankland already.

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“The priority now is to try and get another centre-half in, potentially a centre midfielder and then another No.10,” explained Neilson. “We waited for Rowles and waited for Shankland. We’ve got a couple of targets we’re looking at but it might take a bit of time.

“I’m really happy with our squad at the moment, we can start the league campaign and we can be comfortable. We’ve got options in different areas. We just want to add a wee bit more to it again.”

Josh Ginnelly and Cammy Devlin both missed the midweek friendly at Preston North End but defender Craig Halkett returned after ankle surgery. “Ginnelly has still got a wee bit of a problem with his groin/thigh area,” said Neilson.

“Cammy had a wee tweak of the hamstring and, with his history last year, we kept him out. I would definitely expect Devlin for Saturday, Ginnelly maybe the following week.

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“It was good to give Halkett ten to 15 minutes. We’ll try and get him some more time on Saturday as well and try and keep pushing him.”

Robbie Neilson wants another three new signings at Hearts.Robbie Neilson wants another three new signings at Hearts.
Robbie Neilson wants another three new signings at Hearts.

Stoke City visit Tynecastle this weekend for Hearts’ final pre-season friendly – which doubles as Gary Locke’s testimonial – before next weekend’s Premiership kick-off against Ross County.

“Hopefully it’s a great turnout, everyone knows Gary is Hearts through and through,” said Neilson. “He is a real Hearts man, stood on the terracing as a kid, played for the club, captained the club and managed the club. It will be a great day and hopefully it will be a good turn out for him because he deserves it.”