Hearts open contract talks with Jerome Thomas

Jerome Thomas, formerly of Crystal Palace, is on trial at Hearts. Pic: SNS
Jerome Thomas, formerly of Crystal Palace, is on trial at Hearts. Pic: SNS
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Hearts have opened contract talks with the former West Bromwich Albion and Crystal Palace winger Jerome Thomas.

The 32-year-old free agent, pictured, has trained at Riccarton this week and head coach Robbie Neilson is keen to add him to the squad if terms can be agreed.

Tynecastle officials are currently putting together a proposal they hope will appeal to Thomas. The offer would be a playing contract that includes the chance the chance of future progress into coaching.

“Jerome is in training at the moment. Technically he is top drawer and has played over 200 games in the English Premier League,” said Neilson.

“It’s something we need to look at and see, if he is interested in coming, that it’s something we can do. He would be a great addition to not only the squad but the coaching department as well because of the experience he brings.

“He’s getting to an age now that he wants to start focusing on himself and his future development. It’s something we can look at.

“He’s a Premier League player and very rarely do you get one of these guys willing to come up to Scotland. Hopefully we can we can put something together that will be interesting to him. It won’t be anything to do with finances because we’re not in a position that we can afford to give him real money that he would be interested in. It’s more if we can offer him things off the park that would be interesting to him for his future development.

“He likes what we’re doing here and he likes the idea of developing players and developing coaches, that side of it. I think it’s something that’s intriguing for him and for us as well.

“It’s not a player/coach [deal]. It would be as a player but somebody that we can move into that area as time goes on. He wouldn’t come in on the coaching side, if he does decide it would be to play but we would then try to help him on that side of it.

“That’s the selling point from our point of view, it’s a development opportunity for him.

“We’re in the process of trying to put something to him, he’s a guy that’s been in England for 15 years picking up big money and money is not the thing for him. That’s the reason he is here because, if it was, he wouldn’t be here.”