Levein lets Robbie Neilson deal with Hearts targets

Craig Levein, left, with Robbie Neilson
Craig Levein, left, with Robbie Neilson
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Robbie Neilson revealed today that he is holding contract talks with Hearts’ signing targets as opposed to the club’s director of football, Craig Levein.

It was expected that negotiating with players and agents would be Levein’s remit following the restructuring under new owner Ann Budge, but Neilson explained today that he is enjoying plenty freedom in his role as head coach.

Neilson and Levein want to recruit up to seven players this summer. Neilson did his own negotiating during the latter years of his playing career and is now calling on that experience from a different perspective.

“I’ve been doing the majority of the negotiating and I think it’s a learning curve for me, which Craig Levein is helping me with,” he told the Evening News. “I’m gaining experience but I don’t think I’d be able to do it without him beside me, just to help and instruct me on what to do here and there and how to structure things.

“It’s good to get into some negotiating, so that’s helped me. Craig has been fantastic with me, giving me advice and helping me through it. He’s allowing me to deal with the agents and the contractual side but if I need to bounce anything off him then he’s there, which is great. It can be difficult sometimes dealing with agents. There is lots of negotiating but Craig has been very helpful.

“I’ve always been on the other side of it. For the last four or five years of my playing career, I dealt with my own financial negotiations. I didn’t use an agent and I found that quite enjoyable. It was a bit of a learning curve for me because most players just leave these things to their agent.”