Hearts will reject Oldham’s bid for MacDonald

Jamie MacDonald
Jamie MacDonald
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Oldham Athletic have lodged a £20,000 bid for Hearts goalkeeper Jamie MacDonald, although both the player and his club are likely to reject the offer.

The Lancashire club, who are managed by the former Tynecastle midfielder Lee Johnson, have made an official approach and submitted a cash bid. MacDonald is out of contract this summer.

However, neither the goalkeeper nor Hearts are keen to do a deal.

Manager Gary Locke stressed today that MacDonald is not for sale and, in any case, club officials value him much higher than £20,000. The 27-year-old is one of few experienced players within Locke’s squad and has been tipped for Scotland recognition this season.

Johnson has recognised his consistent performances and put an offer to Hearts hoping to take him to England’s League One. However, the Latics’ approach was not welcomed. “There’s been contact about Jamie, but that’s as far as it went,” Locke confirmed. “They [Oldham] have been in touch with us, but Jamie is certainly not a player I want to lose.”

Locke is focused on recruiting players at the moment and is eager to complete a loan deal for an under-21 striker from England before Sunday’s League Cup semi-final with Inverness Caledonian Thistle.

He is also hoping to sign Rudi Skacel to take the place of goalkeeping coach Alan Combe, whose player registration has been cancelled.

Hearts have asked the SPFL if they can register Skacel in Combe’s place plus sign an under-21 forward to replace Adam King, who joined Swansea City earlier this week.

An SFA sanction for entering administration prevents the Jambos signing anyone over 21 until next month. SPFL rules state that clubs in administration are subject to a registration ban but can apply to replace any player who leaves.

“We’re trying to get someone in,” said Locke. “We will find out what happens next week with Rudi as that will go to a panel [at the SPFL]. With Adam King and Alan Combe being the two registrations cancelled, we’d like to try and bring two players in. We’ve done a little bit of work in the last couple of days about an under-21 player. Hopefully we’ll have some news soon.

“There have been a few rumours but the financial situation we’re in is very difficult. It’s also a difficult window. Because it’s so late, there are a lot of targets I had in mind that are already at other clubs.

“I don’t want to just bring someone in for the sake of it. They need to come in and make a difference to the team.

“We are short of bodies and it would be great to get two in if we could. We’re in talks at the moment.”