Hearts focus on transfer markets like Australia due to limited signing budget

Future recruitment at Hearts will focus on middling football countries like Australia as the club continue to seek value for money in the transfer market. Manager Robbie Neilson admitted today that finances only stretch so far, ruling out moves for players from most major leagues.

Sporting director Joe Savage and head of recruitment Will Lancefield are working with Neilson to identify targets for the forthcoming January transfer window. They will again look at the Australian A-League after signing midfielder Cammy Devlin, plus defenders Nathaniel Atkinson and Kye Rowles over the last 15 months. All three are now part of the Socceroos squad at the World Cup in Qatar.

“Joe and I will sit down, Will as well, and have a look,” stated Neilson. “We’ve only got a limited budget so we can’t go to big nations in Europe, even the MLS is difficult for us now. We have to try and find these countries that have value for money and the good thing about the Australian market is that they all speak English. It’s a slightly different style of football, it’s different weather, but they’re athletic players.

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“A lot of Australia boys want to play in Europe. It’s a big pull to come over here no matter what country it is. It is a market that more and more people are looking at. Hibs have got one or two, Dundee United have some, St Mirren as well.”

Having three World Cup representatives should help Hearts’ case in the coming weeks as they try to attract fresh talent. “Hearts should have international footballers and should be a pathway to get into international football,” Neilson pointed out. “We’ve managed to help get three guys to a World Cup and would like to get more guys into the Scotland squad and other nations. It shows the level the club is now competing at.”

The Australian triumvirate should return to Edinburgh buoyed after their involvement in Qatar. “I would like to think so, they will train with some good players and play against the best in the world. That experience and confidence boost is a part of it,” added Neilson.

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Hearts sporting director Joe Savage is working with manager Robbie Neilson on signing plans.