Hearts transfer latest: Defiance over Toby Sibbick Blackpool bid as 'targets' pursued

Robbie Neilson insists key players won’t be allowed to leave on the cheap after explaining why Hearts turned down an offer for Toby Sibbick.

The Tynecastle club this week rejected a six-figure bid from EFL Championship side Blackpool for the in-form centre-back, who is contracted until 2025 after joining for an undisclosed fee from Barnsley a year ago.

With injuries to key men in defence, the 23-year-old has been one of Hearts’ best players this month, cementing his place after coming through a period of low confidence and form at the end of last year. Neilson does not want to sell.

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“He’s a very, very important player for us,” the Hearts manager told Sky Sports. “Any player we have at this football club who is at Toby’s level has a value and that value didn’t get matched, so he’ll stay here and I hope that’s at least until the end of the season because we need him.

“The whole process is about building a team. There’s no point bringing people in in the summer and then six months later flipping them for money we don’t believe they are valued at. We are building a team around key players and, at the moment, Toby is one of those key players.”

Hearts are still hoping to get a deal over the line to bring in utility man Callum Paterson from Sheffield Wednesday before the window closes on Tuesday, but have other options. Neilson added: “We’ve got a couple of targets and we’re pushing to get at least one of them in.”

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Toby Sibbick is under contract at Hearts until the summer of 2025. Picture: Mark Scates / SNS