A left-sided centre-back is one of the Edinburgh club’s priorities following Christophe Berra’s departure to Raith Rovers. Forwards are also high on the agenda to strengthen the attack for the new cinch Premiership campaign.
Manager Robbie Neilson and sporting director Joe Savage have already completed three deals to sign goalkeeper Ross Stewart and winger Josh Ginnelly permanently, plus left-back Alex Cochrane on loan from Brighton and Hove Albion.
More new recruits are expected to arrive before the summer transfer window closes on August 31. Neilson spoke to the Evening News to outline his recruitment thoughts after implementing a new 3-4-3 system at Tynecastle Park.
“We just felt that the 3-4-3 is quite suited to the players we have. We have spoken about trying to get a left-sided centre-half in but I think Stephen Kingsley can play in that position,” he said.
“We will still look to recruit there but this way of playing suits us. During the season we will change into different shapes but I’m pleased with it so far. The key is that we get people high up the pitch. What we don’t want to do is drop off into a 5-4-1. We need to put pressure on people so there is still work to be done.”
Asked about signing a striker, he replied: “We are still looking at the attacking areas. We’ve got Euan Henderson, Liam Boyce, Gary Mackay-Steven, Josh Ginnelly and Armand Gnanduillet, but I think we need another couple in there to give us more energy going forward. We will continue to look.”
Gnanduillet missed Hearts’ first two Premier Sports Cup matches due to a minor thigh injury. Henderson, Boyce, Mackay-Steven and Ginnelly have all been involved.
Neilson’s team beat Peterhead 2-0 on Saturday before a 3-0 victory over Cove Rangers on Tuesday evening. They face Sunderland in a friendly at Tynecastle on Saturday before more Premier Cup ties next week.
They travel to Stirling Albion on Tuesday and then host Inverness Caledonian Thistle the following Sunday in their final Group A match.