Hearts to open talks with Josh Ginnelly over a new contract

Hearts will open contract talks with Josh Ginnelly in the near future as they aim to keep him at Tynecastle Park beyond the summer.

A fine recent run of form has impressed the Edinburgh club’s management and moves are now afoot to ensure the 25-year-old does not leave for free when his contract expires at the end of the campaign.

Hearts hope to tie Ginnelly down on a longer deal to continue his burgeoning partnership with Lawrence Shankland. The pair have linked up to good effect and helped underpin a run of nine games without defeat since November 12 last year. Ginnelly scored four goals in those nine fixtures, with Shankland claiming eight.

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Both players found the net in Sunday’s 3-0 Scottish Cup fourth-round win against Hibs at Easter Road and have developed a useful understanding lately. Ginnelly’s natural position is as a winger but he has been a revelation at centre-forward for Hearts. Shankland’s new deep-lying role in behind the Englishman allows both men to complement one another’s strengths.

Tynecastle officials intend to open contract talks soon in the hope that Ginnelly can follow others such as Kye Rowles and Liam Boyce in extending his deal.

He initially arrived in Gorgie in September 2020 on a season-long loan from Preston North End. That move then became permanent in June the following year as the forward signed a two-year contract following his release from Preston.

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That deal is now in its final six months and Ginnelly is legally entitled to discuss a pre-contract with any other club. However, Hearts hope talks with the player and his representatives will result in an extended agreement to keep him in Edinburgh.

Josh Ginnelly scores to put Hearts 1-0 ahead against Hibs in the Scottish Cup.