Hearts will resist the chance to sell Scotland internationalist Callum Paterson in January unless they receive a substantial transfer fee.
Tynecastle officials have no plans to cash in on the defender, who is out of contract next May.
FIFA compensation rules dictate Hearts will be due between £350,000 and £400,000 in a development fee if Paterson leaves on freedom of contract at the end of the season.
He is seen as a key player but won’t sign a new deal as he wants to test himself at a higher level, which will almost certainly mean a move to England in time for next season.
Hearts rejected three offers for the 22-year-old from Wigan Athletic in August, all of which fell way short of the Edinburgh club’s £1million valuation.
Head coach Robbie Neilson told the Evening News today that he does not intend moving any player out during the forthcoming transfer window. He will happily continue to play Paterson as his contract runs down and will reject any sub-standard offers.
“Hopefully we keep Callum beyond January. He’s here until the end of the season unless somebody comes in with a bid that we feel is acceptable. When the window opens again, we’ll assess everything,” said Neilson.
“I’m not planning to move anybody out in January because we don’t have a huge squad. Anybody that moves in January will do so because someone has shown an interest in them and put a genuine bid in. At the moment, we’re focused on trying to bring someone in rather than move anyone out.”
Neilson stated earlier this week that he hopes to recruit a new winger when the transfer window opens. However, he does not believe there is a massive gap in standard between Scottish and English football.
Criticism of the game north of the Border irks him because he sees little difference in the quality of football compared to even some English Premier League matches.
“We are down on it all the time but if you go down and watch some English games down there, outwith the big hitters, the standard is not much different to be honest with you.
“The bottom end of the Premier League, yes, they have some fantastic players but the games aren’t great. Then you go down to the Championship and it’s the same there as well.
“I think we are too negative about our own football. It was 3-3 in our game at Inverness last week and it was an exciting game. People enjoyed it, there was some good football, good goals and that’s what you want to see.”