New Dundee United boss Micky Mellon has warned Hearts off any players whose departure would make the club weaker.
Robbie Neilson has been linked with a move for midfielder Calum Butcher who was a key component in the club’s Championship-winning campaign.
Mellon, who arrived as Neilson’s replacement from Tranmere earlier this month, revealed he knows little of the interest but reiterated the desire to hold on to important players ahead of their return to the Premiership.
He said: “Sometimes these meetings are like a game of poker, you can probably see from my face that’s the first time I’ve heard that.
“Like I’ve said many times, there won’t be anything moving out of here if we don’t think it’ll make Dundee United better.”
Mellon also confirmed to the Evening Telegraph that Gordon Forrest is set to move on from the club.
It could mean a move to Tynecastle for the 43-year-old who worked as Neilson’s assistant at Dundee United alongside Lee McCulloch.
The Hearts boss revealed he is set to have talks with McCulloch over a possible role at the club, but admits he has to assess the coaches already in place – Liam Fix, Andy Kirk and John Rankin.
Hearts have just announced that Jim Jefferies has returned in an advisory role for six months on a part-time deal and will provide Neilson with support in the transfer window.