Craig Levein has revealed that he has already kicked off efforts to reshape Hearts’ squad this summer, with the manager anticipating in the region of seven to ten new arrivals.
The Tynecastle side have had a high turnover of players in recent years and more changes are likely at the end of what will have been a second underwhelming campaign in succession.
“We started our recruitment process in January so we are well down the road with quite a lot of things,” said Levein. “We know what we need, well I think I know what we need, and we are working towards that. It is not a still picture, it is a moving scene all the time. We also have other loan situations which I would look to, with Joaquim Adao, Demetri Mitchell and Steven Naismith, who we would like to keep, but that might not be possible.”
Levein, who confirmed that Allan McGregor and Scott Bain are two goalkeepers being monitored in the event that the out-of-contract Jon McLaughlin declines the chance to stay at Hearts, is unfazed by the level of work he will have to carry out in his first full summer transfer window as manager as he bids to build a squad more suited to his own style of play.
“Everywhere I’ve been I’ve had to ship loads of players out,” he said. “It’s important to understand that there’s a way I want my team to play. At this moment in time, we don’t have everything I need to do that. We need to get to that point. We need to get the core of the team right. If we do that and then start adding things it will become much easier.
“I was really pleased with the recruitment in January but there will be a shuffle again because what Ian (Cathro) and I wanted to do are completely different things. I’d rather do an overhaul over two windows than four because I want to get to the point where we have a secure base to build on.
“There will be quite significant changes this summer. There has to be. I can’t do what I want to do with what I have got just now. We need to get a core in the team that plays every week. That will be the starting point. Then we can add what I think we need to be successful in this league. I’m very clear on what we need.”