Contract talks have been paused for now while the on-loan winger recovers from surgery to cure a ruptured hamstring. He will become a free agent in June with Preston preparing to release him when his agreement there expires.
Hearts started discussions about a permanent deal for Ginnelly in January before injury struck. Earlier this season, the player told the Evening News that a longer stay in Edinburgh was “100 per cent” on his mind.
He is doing rehabilitation work at Hearts’ Riccarton training base rather than return to his parent club in England. Manager Robbie Neilson explained that the 23-year-old’s is a positive influence around the squad and that no-one will rush contract talks whilst he is recuperating.
“We're just letting it lie at the moment, see how his rehab goes and take it from there. There's no rush on it,” said Neilson. “He is still here, part of the group and getting his treatment here. He is a good character to have about the place.
“It's all dependant on the parent club and what they want to do. Josh is out of contract in the summer at Preston and I think it looks like he probably won't get another deal down there. We have a duty of care to cover his contract and cover his rehabilitation as well.”
Ginnelly signed a season-long loan deal with Hearts last September, which ends shortly before his contract at Preston finishes.