Hamilton Accies striker James
Keatings has turned down an offer of a new contract amid
reported interest from Hearts.
The 22-year-old, who scored 15 goals in 35 games for Accies last season as they earned promotion with a play-off win over Hibs, had initially indicated he would be keen to remain at New Douglas Park but has now been linked with relegated Hearts.
The Glasgow-born player spent the first half of the 2012/13 campaign on loan at Hamilton before signing a one-year deal last summer following his release by Celtic.
Accies player-manager Alex Neil is keen to keep his promotion-winning squad intact and is disappointed Keatings is heading for the exit door.
Neil said: “We offered James a contract but he has decided to knock it back. It’s a bit of a surprise because I had spoken to James and we had agreed that he would re-sign. It was only going to be a short-term deal and he’s looking for a bit more security as well, he has a young family.
“I would not say it’s dead in the water although I’ve heard that Hearts are interested in him. I would be disappointed to lose him as I think there is more to come from him. I said I would be happy if I managed to keep the squad together and James is part of that. I don’t begrudge James at all though.”