Hearts won’t be ordered to sell but bids are expected

Gary Locke believes there could be bids for Jamie Walker
Gary Locke believes there could be bids for Jamie Walker
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HEARTS have no pressing need to sell players during the January transfer window, according to manager Gary Locke. Administrators BDO have told Locke that funding is in place for the immediate future and there is no requirement to transfer players out to raise money.

The manager’s worry, however, is that a big offer arrives for a first-choice like captain Danny Wilson or striker Ryan Stevenson. Hearts are unable to sign players whilst in administration and therefore could not replace anyone who departs.

Locke is expecting interest in some of those who have impressed during the first half of the season, such as winger Jamie Walker. However, he is hopeful January can come and go with Hearts resisting all advances from other clubs.

“Bryan Jackson and Trevor Birch from BDO have said we don’t have to sell anyone. They’ve said the club has generated enough money that we don’t have to sell,” Locke told the Evening News. “I don’t know if a team in England are going to come up with an offer for one of the players that the club can’t turn down. That’s not something I could predict. It would depend on the level of any offer that came in. If you were to single anybody out, I’m pretty sure there will be teams taking note of Jamie Walker’s performances of late. We’ve already seen in the media that Ryan Stevenson is attracting a bit of interest from China. I’m just hoping I don’t lose anyone because we need to keep everybody at the club.”

Hearts are 14 points adrift at the bottom of the Scottish Premiership and are unlikely to exit administration until spring time. English Championship club Nottingham Forest and Premier League Swansea City made offers for youngsters Jason Holt and Adam King during the summer, but those bids were refused by BDO.

“I’m hoping not to get any phone calls in January because there’s no doubt that would be a nightmare for us,” continued Locke. “As much as we can’t bring anyone in, we can’t lose anyone. That for me is crucial to the rest of the season because everybody knows we’re down to the bare bones as it is.

“You can’t legislate for people showing interest in your players. When you see the way some of them have performed, you’re probably going to get a bit of interest in one or two – especially given the situation we’re in.”