Hearts outline signing plans for more free agents plus club's stance on Aberdeen's Christian Ramirez
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Striker Stephen Humphrys arrived on loan from Wigan Athletic before Thursday’s deadline and out-of-contract goalkeeper Zander Clark joined on Friday. Neilson wanted more deals done before the window shut but said he has no qualms waiting to sign unattached players.
“We were looking to get a couple more in, but the ones offered to us were not at a level that we felt was good enough,” explained Neilson. “You have to bring players in that are going to improve the squad, that's the most important thing.
“It's not about bringing numbers in, it's about bringing quality. If the quality isn't there then there's no point because you get a number and two weeks later you think: ‘This number is not good enough to play in this team.’
“So I'm quite comfortable just to wait and we'll see what the market brings now. There are a lot of guys getting put in who have cancelled their contract or are out of contract already.
“It comes down to what is available. I say it all along, we have a responsibility – especially at Hearts, where the fans are putting money in every month – that we can't just go and spend it and not improve the squad.
“I'd rather keep the money and wait for the right person to come up, and if they do, great. If not then we've got guys coming back from injury who will supplement the squad.”
Asked what positions he was looking for, Neilson remained coy and didn’t want to divulge too much detail: “There's a couple – I don't want to say exactly what it is – but there are areas we need to strengthen. If we are all fit then there are still areas that we need to improve in.”
Hearts’ earlier enquiry about loaning Aberdeen striker Christian Ramirez didn’t materialise into a deal. The Pittodrie club were reluctant to give the player to a rival Premiership team. “It didn't come from us,” said Neilson. “Look, I'd be amazed if Aberdeen let him go. He was their top goalscorer last season. Where it came from, I don't know, but it didn't come from us.”