Hearts expect English clubs to come knocking

Hearts coach Robbie Neilson
Hearts coach Robbie Neilson
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Hearts expect their key players to generate plenty of interest this summer and are bracing themselves for bids from other clubs.

The Tynecastle hierarchy believe some of their squad could make the jump to England in time, although no offers have been received as yet.

Head coach Robbie Neilson and director of football Craig Levein are aware of English teams monitoring the more prominent players at Riccarton. After Osman’s Sow’s February move to Henan Jianye in China for more than £1million, Hearts’ profile as a club capable of developing players has risen.

Neilson explained today that he is more than comfortable with the situation. His club anticipate that a handful of their players could be the subject of enquiries from south of the border or abroad. Neilson said that is simply a result of their fine performance last year as Hearts finished third in the Ladbrokes Premiership and reached the Europa League qualifying rounds.

“I expect enquiries for several of our players because they’ve done well and they showed last season that they can do it in the top league. There’s always interest in good players and, as a club, we just have to prepare for that,” Neilson said.

“There hasn’t been any interest in anyone so far. Our market for selling players is England and they tend to shut down until the beginning of July. Very little happens before then because managers and staff go away, then they come back and look at what they want.

“There can be a big turnover in managers so sometimes a new manager needs time to get in, see what his squad is and what he needs. That’s just the way it works down there. We try to get our work done early but it always kicks off once things pick up in England.”