Robbie Neilson divulges plan for January transfer window as he meets Hearts owner Ann Budge to talk new signings

Hearts owner Ann Budge is due to meet manager Robbie Neilson today to discuss the club’s plans for the January transfer window.

Hearts manager Robbie Neilson is meeting owner Ann Budge today.
Hearts manager Robbie Neilson is meeting owner Ann Budge today.

Neilson wants to sign at least one more pacey winger and a new striker for the second half of the season. He will put his proposals to Budge as they aim to finalise their approach for the winter market.

Neilson told the Evening News today that there is no pressing need for Hearts to release a player before adding to their first-team squad, although several youngsters are likely to leave on loan in the weeks ahead.

Eight new players joined Hearts during the summer – goalkeeper Craig Gordon, defenders Mihai Popescu and Stephen Kingsley, midfielder Andy Halliday, plus wingers Elliott Frear and Jordan Roberts. Goalkeeper Ross Stewart and winger Josh Ginnelly also arrived on loan.

Neilson wants reinforcements in wide areas after a number of injuries and also covets another forward to compete with Liam Boyce and Craig Wighton.

“I’ve got a meeting with Ann today and I need to add to the squad. I think I need more pace in the squad again,” he explained.

“We did bring that in during the summer but the wide players who have come in are picking up wee niggling injuries, as you expect with players like that.

“I think we need a wee bit more in that area and probably need to add another striker as well. Those two areas are key for us in January.”

A number of teenage players who recently emerged from the Riccarton youth academy will be loaned out next month.

Hearts coaching staff want to ensure they have sufficient first-team experience before they are exposed to senior football at Tynecastle Park.

“We won’t need to move people out to bring players in,” added Neilson. “We will manage the squad and a few younger ones will be going out on loan, mainly to develop them so they are ready for the first team next year.

“That’s the main objective. We will look to place them with the right teams so they get game time. Then, when they come back, they should be closer to the first team.”

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