Robbie Neilson reveals how many more signings he plans at Hearts and discusses new striker talk

Robbie Neilson is looking ahead to strengthening his squad further.Robbie Neilson is looking ahead to strengthening his squad further.
Robbie Neilson is looking ahead to strengthening his squad further.
Tynecastle manager is not finished at five new arrivals

Hearts manager Robbie Neilson covets another two or three signings despite adding five new recruits to his squad over the summer.

Winger Josh Ginnelly’s loan arrival on Wednesday followed those of fellow wingers Elliott Frear and Jordan Roberts on permanent deals. Craig Gordon and another loanee, Ross Stewart, have also joined the goalkeeping department.

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Neilson still wants a centre-back to compensate for John Souttar’s long-term absence with a snapped Achilles. A central midfielder is also on the agenda, with Frenchman Yann Songo’o currently on trial at Riccarton.

The manager may look to sign a striker before the transfer window closes on October 5 but told the Evening News that is not his priority right now.

With Liam Boyce, Steven Naismith, Craig Wighton, Euan Henderson and Roberts all able to play through the middle, Hearts are focused on strengthening other positions.

“With John Souttar being out, we need to recruit a centre-half which has changed things because that wasn't in the plans. We still have a wee bit of work to do. I think we still need another two or three anyway,” explained Neilson.

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“The market is quite quiet at the moment as there aren't a lot of players moving about. The teams down south start their season on September 12 so if teams lose a couple of games they will look to get people in for different positions. I expect things will pick up then.”

Asked about potentially bringing in a new striker, Neilson replied: “I'd like to have a look at the striker position but it's last on my list at the moment with everything else going on.”

Songo’o played 45 minutes as a trialist in a bounce game at St Mirren on Wednesday, which Hearts won 2-1 thanks to goals from Roberts and Jamie Walker.

The 28-year-old is a free agent after leaving Scunthorpe United in June when his contract expired. He is a robust central midfielder who favours a passing style of play.

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He has previous experience of Scottish football from a four-month loan spell at Ross County, during which he made 17 appearances and scored three goals.

The former Blackburn Rovers, Plymouth Argyle and Sporting Kansas City player will stay with Hearts to be assessed by Neilson and his coaching staff over the next few days.

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