Hearts plan to confirm the signings of striker Conor Sammon and defender Faycal Rherras next week. Tynecastle officials want both players registered with the Scottish Football Association and UEFA before the Europa League first qualifying round signing deadline of June 20.
Sammon and Rherras have agreed three-year contracts and are due to finalise their moves over the next few days. The Irish striker is currently on holiday but has negotiated his release from former club Derby County. Rherras, the Belgian-born full-back, is currently training with the Moroccan Olympic squad.
UEFA regulations state that all teams competing in the Europa League first qualifying round, which begins on June 30, must submit a maximum squad list of 25 players by June 20. Hearts and Aberdeen both enter the tournament at that stage, with Hibs starting one round later in the second qualifying round.
Goalkeeper Matt Gilks has yet to make a final decision on where his future lies after holding talks with Hearts head coach Robbie Neilson and director of football Craig Levein. He has options in England and the Edinburgh club cannot afford to wait too long if they are also to register him in time for Europe. “We’ve spoken to a couple of goalies and we’re waiting to hear back,” Neilson told the Evening News. “We have a couple of other ones tied up in different areas so we’re getting there. I didn’t expect to have our full quota of signings in before June 20. We’re looking to get three in, possibly. That then gives us a bit of time to see what else is out there.”
Former Scotland goalkeeper Paul Gallacher is expected to join the club as goalkeeping coach. The 36-year-old is leaving Partick Thistle and is preparing to retire and become part of Neilson’s coaching team full-time.