Josh Ginnelly holds key talks with Hearts management over his future

Updates on Garang Kuol, Nathaniel Atkinson and Michael Smith ahead of the trip to St Mirren.

Josh Ginnelly has held talks with interim Hearts manager Steven Naismith as he prepares to decide his future. Out of contract in a matter of weeks, Ginnelly has yet to agree a new deal with the Tynecastle club.

Discussions have taken place with senior officials about a new deal and the player is now weighing up his options. Naismith gave his point of view on the subject, offering Ginnelly advice about the perils of leaving a club where you are settled and performing consistently.

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The 26-year-old has scored 11 goals in 37 appearances for Hearts this season, including eight in his last 13 games. “I've had a chat with him but it's going to be up to Gino and the club,” Naismith told the Evening News. “I've given my view and it's an honest view. I haven't tried to pull the wool over his eyes in any way.

“I experienced moving clubs, I experienced very good moments at clubs and how quickly it can change. I gave Josh my opinion and I have a good relationship with him. As players, we played well together and got on and I think he respects me. Ultimately, it will be down to him.

“Gino's performances this season have been the most consistent since he's been here, and probably the most consistent in his career. That puts him in a position where he's got that leverage to go to the club or whoever and get the best deal possible.

“When you are younger, that predominantly comes down to money, but as you get older there are more factors to it than just money. I think Gino is sensible enough to weigh it all up before making his decision.”

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Hearts travel to St Mirren on Saturday and could have some players back after injury and illness. “We are still assessing Michael Smith, Garang Kuol should be back fit after illness, and Natty Atkinson will have a full week's training,” said Naismith. “Two or three boys were out ill at the start of last week. I'm not of a mind to rush anybody back into the team, although in some circumstances you will. I feel we have enough quality in the squad that we can cover most areas.”

Hearts forward Josh Ginnelly is still weighing up his future.Hearts forward Josh Ginnelly is still weighing up his future.
Hearts forward Josh Ginnelly is still weighing up his future.
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