Hearts hit back at claims Jamie Walker is being forced out

Hearts have hit back at claims by Jamie Walker's father that his son is being forced out of Tynecastle and was offered a derisory contract to remain with the club.

Hearts' Jamie Walker has a year remaining on his contract. Picture: Paul Devlin/SNS
Hearts' Jamie Walker has a year remaining on his contract. Picture: Paul Devlin/SNS

Hearts’ director of football Craig Levein announced this week that the winger wanted to leave despite having a year left on his existing deal.

Walker’s father Allan took to Facebook to take issue with Levein, insisting his son never submitted a transfer request.

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His post read: “Jamie and his agent tryed to sort out a contract for him and it was pure sh*** jamie said no and Levein told he can leave..jamie has never told hearts he wants to leave . Show us the tranfer request LEVEIN ...”

Hearts have taken exception to Walker senior’s remarks and claim they made his son an offer which would have made him the highest paid player at the club.

The statement from the Tynecastle side said: “In line with our policy of at all times communicating openly and honestly with our supporters, we would like to correct some misinformation that is currently being widely circulated on social media.

“We refer to the recent ill-informed and potentially damaging stories relating to Jamie Walker and his contractual position with the club.

“Hearts has spent an enormous amount of time and effort to nurture Jamie’s talents and mould him into one of the Premiership’s top midfielders.

“Jamie has been with the club since 2003 and has developed into one of Scotland’s brightest young talents. Since making his first-team debut in 2012, Jamie has gone on to make 162 appearances and has scored 38 goals, including 15 goals in season 2016/17.

“Naturally, the club wants him to stay and made earnest efforts to secure his long-term future here at Hearts. Those efforts were reflected in the new three-year deal offered to the player in February 2017, one which would’ve made Jamie the highest paid player at the club.

“Despite Jamie initially agreeing to sign this contract, the club was then informed that he had changed his mind and would not be signing the new deal.

“Despite the club doing everything in its power to hold onto, and reward, one of its top youth products, it would seem that the player would prefer to see out the remaining year of his contract, leaving the club in a no-win situation.

“The club has no desire to lose a talent such as Jamie. He is a firm favourite both with the fans and indeed the management. Nor would it stand in the way of any player who does not want to sign a contract and play for Hearts. We must protect the interests of the fans and the business when faced with such a scenario.

“Hearts totally refute any suggestion that a member of the club board or senior executive would be less than honest with any information provided to the media or the fans and it was insulting to see such accusations and falsehoods spread across social media.”