Hearts want permanent deal for on-loan Preston winger Josh Ginnelly

Josh Ginnelly has already struck up a rapport with Hearts manager Robbie Neilson.Josh Ginnelly has already struck up a rapport with Hearts manager Robbie Neilson.
Josh Ginnelly has already struck up a rapport with Hearts manager Robbie Neilson.
Hearts will explore the possibility of signing winger Josh Ginnelly permanently next year, the Evening News can reveal.

Manager Robbie Neilson said today that he would like to keep the Preston North End player at Tynecastle Park beyond the end of his loan agreement, which runs until next summer.

Ginnelly is due to become a free agent at that point as his Preston contract expires. Hearts hope to holds talks next spring about signing him on a permanent deal, which may depend on earning promotion to the Premiership.

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“I would like to keep him, yes,” said manager Robbie Neilson. “He is here until the end of the season and we’ll look at that later down the line, but I definitely think he has the attributes to play here for a long time.

“There is no option [in the loan agreement], it’s just a straight loan until the end of the season. It’s something we will probably look at depending on where we are come February/March.

“We will have a chat with Josh. He wanted to come up and play games and he’s doing well. He’s doing exactly what he said he would do when he came up – work hard, get in the team and produce.”

Ginnelly has impressed in four competitive outings for Hearts so far by displaying flair, speed and a goalscoring touch.

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“We knew he would bring pace, width and go at people in one-versus-ones,” added Neilson. “He is doing exactly that so there is no surprise to us, but I think there is still more to come.

“I think he can be more direct and deliver more crosses. I’ve been really pleased with him. You need guys who can eliminate somebody and put a ball in.

“Josh does that, as do Jordan Roberts and Elliott Frear on the other side. He has settled into the dressing room and it's a good group in there.

“The boys are all in it together and we don’t have any big-time Charlies or anything like that. We have managed to cut the squad down, rather than having a squad of 35 players with 20 of them not involved on a matchday.”

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