Blair Spittal Hearts transfer silence broken as Motherwell insist 'absolute best' contract offer tabled

Motherwell manager provides update on star midfielder’s future

Motherwell manager Stuart Kettlewell is convinced Blair Spittal will remain fully committed to the end of the season despite appearing Tynecastle-bound.

Reports claim Hearts have secured a pre-contract deal with the 28-year-old midfielder, who has delivered 11 goals and nine assists this season.

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Kettlewell said: “All I can tell you is we know there has been contact but the level of that contact and where that sits, I can’t confirm that. That’s quite clearly Hearts’ business. They are not doing anything out of turn if they are speaking to our out-of-contract players.

Motherwell's Blair Spittal has reportedly agreed to join Hearts next season. (Photo by Craig Foy / SNS Group)Motherwell's Blair Spittal has reportedly agreed to join Hearts next season. (Photo by Craig Foy / SNS Group)
Motherwell's Blair Spittal has reportedly agreed to join Hearts next season. (Photo by Craig Foy / SNS Group)

“But the thing I need to reassure people on is we have offered Blair the absolute best contract we possibly could.

“He has been terrific for us but the fight we have always got, is if a club like Hearts wants to speak to one of our out-of-contract players, they can double, treble what we can offer them. That’s not me pleading poverty, that’s just the honest state of affairs.

“I would love to keep Blair Spittal at the club and the level of contract was indicative of my thoughts, but whatever happens between Blair and, for talking’s sake, Hearts, that’s their business and it’s their place to confirm or deny where that sits.

“But I can 99.9 per cent convince everybody that we have a player who is fully committed to this club and there will be absolutely no change in what everyone has seen over the course of this season.

“I am certain of that because I know the lad so well, because how I watch him train and play. He is fully committed to the cause.”

Spittal is far from the only out-of-contract player and Kettlewell’s plans for next season were complicated by a state of flux at the club created by the impending departure of chairman Jim McMahon, a temporary chief executive and attempts at attracting investment.

Motherwell last week produced some level of certainty by appointing Brian Caldwell, formerly of Ayr, St Mirren and Shrewsbury, as their new chief executive.

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Kettlewell said: “I’ve not had any conversations with Brian. He is someone I know in passing, more from his history in the game.

“With how long he has held general manager and chief executive roles in Scotland and England, very simply in my mind it seems quite a shrewd appointment in terms of someone who is experienced and really understands the job, and I look forward to working with him.

“Derek Weir undertook the duties in the last year pretty much and Derek has been great to work with.

“There will be a handover next week and we will thrust ourselves into making sure we are all joined up.

“I tend to think the chief executive is the glue that brings every department together and the person that drives the goals and the direction the football club wants to go.

“It’s our job to buy into that but I also think he will buy into the culture of the football club and the people that are already here.”

Meanwhile, Lennon Miller still has a chance of playing against St Mirren on Saturday despite pulling up injured on Scotland Under-19 duty.

“Lennon is a doubt,” Kettlewell said. “I’m hopeful we can have him as an option on Saturday but he has quite clearly got a bit of tightness in his hamstring.”

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