Ideally, they want three new signings before tonight’s midnight deadline – a winger, a midfielder and a right-back. None of it is proving straightforward, as is often the case in January.
Club officials are working on a few targets in each position with a wide player uppermost in their thoughts following Josh Ginnelly’s recent hamstring rupture.
Manager Robbie Neilson also wants an attack-minded midfielder to replace the departed Olly Lee, plus a right-back to compete with Michael Smith after Jamie Brandon’s season-ending knee injury.
Three signings in one day is a huge ask but, crucially, they don’t all need to happen by tonight. Hearts can afford to take their time and wait if the right individuals are not available just now.
Any permanent signings or loans from outside Scotland must be done before the January window closes.
However, as a Championship club, Hearts are entitled to sign players on loan from Premiership teams outwith a transfer window.
Free-agent players without a club will also still be available over the coming weeks, so those at Tynecastle are fully aware that they need not rush into three signings in the next few hours.
Sitting top of the Championship table and boasting a 12-point advantage over second-placed Raith Rovers, Hearts are motoring towards automatic promotion to the Premiership.
They want to ensure any permanent signing is of sufficient quality for Scotland’s top flight next season and will make their decisions accordingly.