SCOTLAND winger Matt Phillips believes Hearts will get a quality, dependable goalkeeper if they sign Matt Gilks.
The pair played together at Blackpool for three years and were international team-mates, and Phillips feels Gilks would be a huge figure at Tynecastle.
The 33-year-old is in advanced talks about becoming the new Hearts No 1. Neil Alexander’s departure leaves a void which Gilks is keen to fill and take the chance to play in Europe. Hearts hope to complete negotiations with him before they return for pre-season training on June 15.
Phillips, in the Scotland squad for friendlies with Italy and France, explained the attributes which could make Gilks a success in Edinburgh. “I was with Gilo at Blackpool and in a few Scotland squads too and you know you’re getting a goalkeeper you can rely on,” said the player, now with Queens Park Rangers.
“He’s a good lad, dependable and a terrific player as well. If Hearts get him then that would be a good signing for them. He’s got a few caps and been in a lot of squads, so anyone with that kind of international pedigree is obviously a very capable player.”
Phillips added that Gilks’ character and personality would enhance the spirit within the Hearts dressing-room.
“He’s a good lad around the place, which goes a long way to helping the atmosphere in a dressing-room. Maybe people down south might be surprised that players like this are coming to Scottish football but there are big clubs up here and some of the football is of a really high standard.
“Gilo had a lot of strengths as a keeper. He commanded his area well, he was a good shot-stopper and was very vocal too, which is what you want. You want a goalkeeper who will sort out his defence and keep everyone right and he was like that.”