Hearts striker Conor Sammon’s loan switch to Dundee United appears to be edging closer, despite the fact head coach Ian Cathro says he is putting transfer matters on the back burner as he focuses on trying to gather as many points as possible ahead of the winter shutdown.
With three games in seven days, the new Gorgie coach, who is still seeking his first victory since taking over from Robbie Neilson, says he cannot afford to take his eye off the ball and insisted he was not at the stage where he was ready to offload anyone just yet.
“We are playing Friday, Tuesday, Friday. Three games in a short period of time. It is an intense point of the season,” said Cathro.
“Of course we are assessing things as we go along. We are looking at a variety of things and we are starting to look at the market and we have an idea of where we would like to go. But the next three games are our priority and everybody needs to be ready to go and they are.”
Speculation has been growing that Sammon, who has struggled to win over fans since his arrival at the start of the season, will be moved on in January. Signed from Derby County, and just six months into a three-year deal, he has scored just one goal in 19 appearances, making him a target for abuse and booing from Hearts fans in recent weeks.
Many have called for him to be offloaded and, while the 30-year-old has said he is determined to work hard and turn things around, the change of environment and the chance to shine in the Championship may be a way to kickstart matters.
“It is not something which I have turned my mind to yet,” said Cathro. “I have only been here for a short period of time and I am still in the process of seeing what everybody can give. I have been fortunate that every player has worked in a way that they want to show themselves and give everything, which has helped. So, no, we are not at that stage yet.”
But he admitted that there will be movement in playing personnel during the transfer window, with some squad members being loaned out or moved on to make way for new arrivals.