What Robbie Neilson had to say about bringing Sam Nicholson back to Hearts and keeping Aaron Hickey

The new Hearts boss also confirmed Christophe Berra is part of his plans

Robbie Neilson confirmed Hearts will “definitely” be speaking to Sam Nicholson about a possible Hearts return.

The winger is a free agent after leaving MLS side Colorado Rapids.

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The 25-year-old was a key player under Neilson during his first spell as Hearts boss, playing more than 80 times for the former Dundee United boss.

Robbie Neilson is keen to speak to Sam Nicholson. Picture: SNS

Nicholson is returning to the UK for family reasons and is expected to have plenty of interest in Scotland and England with Bristol Rovers one of the sides keen to sign him.

Neilson has revealed his desire to have talks with the player over a potential Tynecastle return.

"Sam is a really good player and also a really good friend of mine,” he said.

“He's the level of player we're hoping to attract to this football club but I'm sure he'll have numerous offers back in the UK - but he's one we'll definitely be speaking to."

Neilson also confirmed Christophe Berra is part of his plans for next season after the centre-back spent the second half of the season on loan at Dundee.

The former captain fell out of favour under Daniel Stendel and even trained with the reserves.

One Hearts player likely to attract the most interest this summer is teenage defender Aaron Hickey.

The 18-year-old was nominated for the Scottish Football Writers’ Association Young Player of the year, and has been linked with some of Europe’s biggest clubs, including Bayern Munich, Chelsea and Manchester City.

Neilson is hopeful he will stay at the club despite having just one year remaining on his contract.

He said: "Aaron is going to be a huge asset to the football club and it's important that no matter what division we're in, we have to keep our best players and Aaron is definitely in that category.”

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