Ronan, 24, is another they looked at but the £500,000 transfer fee is one they would be reluctant to pay for a player contracted to Wolves until 2024. Another loan initially appealed to Hearts after the Ireland Under-21 internationalist impressed at St Mirren last year.
He scored eight times in 30 appearances with the Paisley club, including an exquisite long-range effort against Robbie Neilson’s side during the Scottish Cup quarter final at Tynecastle Park in March. Aberdeen and the German club St Pauli are also understood to be interested.
Hearts have decided to explore other options while continuing to monitor Ronan’s situation in the Midlands. It remains to be seen if Wolves will negotiate on their fee or accept another loan.
After losing last season’s loanees Ben Woodburn, Ellis Simms, Taylor Moore and Alex Cochrane back to their parent clubs, Tynecastle officials are working on replacements as they strive to increase the squad size in Gorgie with view to a fixture card filled with domestic games and continental commitments throughout the first half of the 2022-23 season. Eight European matches, beginning with the Europa League play-off in August, are guaranteed before the World Cup break in November and re-inforcements have been recruited, with further to follow.
There is already a deal in place for the Australian centre-back Kye Rowles, who is currently on international duty in Qatar with the Socceroos for the World Cup play-offs. He is waiting to have a UK work permit approved in order to join his new club for pre-season training having agreed a three-year deal.
The 25-year-old winger Forrest was recruited from Livingston on freedom of contract as an attack-minded player who could develop further at Riccarton, while out-of-contract Dundee United defender Lewis Neilson became the third new arrival in Gorgie on Thursday when his move from Tannadice was confirmed.