Hearts to sign new forward with Stephen Kingsley set to return

Hearts intend to sign a new forward as soon as possible to strengthen their squad with a demanding European campaign due to start next week.

Moves are afoot to recruit a creative attacker who can add something different to the side following the arrivals of winger Alan Forrest and striker Lawrence Shankland this summer.

Both players scored during the opening two Premiership matches but manager Robbie Neilson told the Evening News that another forward is needed. The club are prepared to listen to offers for winger Josh Ginnelly.

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“I’m delighted with the front four – Shankland, [Liam] Boyce, Forrest, [Barrie] McKay, plus we have [Gary] Mackay-Steven and Ginnelly available. I still think we need one more in there just to give us something a wee bit different. We are looking to get that done as soon as possible,” confirmed Neilson.

Defender Stephen Kingsley should return against Dundee United on Sunday following a hamstring injury. “When Stephen first got this injury we weren’t sure how long he would be out. It turned out to be quite a low grade one so he should be involved on Sunday,” said Neilson.

“He is training today [Friday] with us and will be available. I’m not sure if he will be ready to start but he should be on the bench at least. The aim is to try and get him some game time and then he is ready for the European game on Thursday.”

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Swiss champions FC Zurich were confirmed as Hearts’ Europa League play-off opponents last night following a 5-0 aggregate victory over Northern Irish side Linfield. United, meanwhile, were suffering the worst European results in their history with a 7-0 second-leg defeat to AZ Alkmaar.

They now travel to Tynecastle needing a result after returning from the Netherlands. “That will be the challenge for us as well this season,” explained Neilson as Hearts prepare for group matches in either the Europa League or Europa Conference League.

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Hearts manager Robbie Neilson with assistant coach Lee McCulloch.

“Dundee United had a great result at home against Alkmaar but then they lost last weekend [at home to Livingston]. You have to try and sustain the league campaign while you’re playing in Europe.

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“We watched United but for us it’s important we pick up as many points as we can. This is a hectic schedule coming up.”

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