Robbie Neilson explains Liam Boyce extension as Hearts boss gives transfer update amid Callum Paterson speculation
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Announcement of a new deal for the Northern Irishman was announced last Friday. He was given a one-year extension with the option of another year as it drew near to the January transfer window, where he would’ve been free to talk to other clubs with his previous contract winding down.
The 31-year-old is currently sidelined with an ACL injury but has been working hard behind the scenes to get himself back fit and Neilson revealed the player remains on course to return before next summer.
“I'm delighted,” the Tynecastle boss told the Evening News. “Boycie is a top player and we've missed him massively, not just in terms of the goalscoring but in his quality to link the game and his understanding of the game.
“Obviously his contract was going to run out in the summer. He's had his ACL done and he's on his way back from that but, to his credit, he's been working unbelievably hard and we expect him back by the end of the season.
“We just felt that the new deal would give him a bit of security. He's got a young family and he can start focusing on getting himself back.”
It was revealed at the club’s AGM last week that Hearts will be signing a couple of players in the January transfer window as they look to strengthen the squad for the second half of the campaign.
One target is former Tynecastle favourite Callum Paterson with Neilson previously admitting the Scottish international was high up their wanted list.
The 28-year-old is contracted at Sheffield Wednesday until the end of the season and any transfer, whether loan or permanent deal, would need to be approved by the English League One side.
“We've got a couple of areas we're looking to strengthened,” said Neilson. “We're hoping to get one of them done and sorted as early as possible. We'll need to see if that can happen but players are at other clubs and sometimes that can be difficult.”