Hearts admit interest in Danny Amankwaa but coy on Goncalves

Hearts striker Esmael Goncalves was left out of the match against Hamilton and has been linked with a move to Uzbekistan. Picture: Craig Williamson/SNS
Hearts striker Esmael Goncalves was left out of the match against Hamilton and has been linked with a move to Uzbekistan. Picture: Craig Williamson/SNS
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Hearts manager Craig Levein refused to offer anything concrete on the rumoured comings and goings at his club, saying that Esmael Goncalves remained part of his squad “at the moment”, while Danish winger Danny Amankwaa was not.

Goncalves, pictured, has been linked with a move to Uzbekistan club Pakhtakor Tashkent but Levein said: “I can’t really say anything about Esma. He is still part of the squad at the moment. Will he be at the weekend? I don’t know.”

When he does depart, it seems certain that the club will step up their bid to bring in the 23-year-old Copenhagen attacker Amankwaa.

“With Danny we are interested and we have spoken to his club so you can take what you like from that. But I am not going to say anything else until something is done.”

Adding to his squad would further strengthen a team that now has competition for every position and is in a rich seam of form.

A 3-0 victory at Hamilton Accies last night means they have now gone 11 games without defeat and remain in the hunt to close the gap on rivals Hibs in the Premiership table. But they had to battle for the points.

“We had to grind it out but we can do that – as you know,” said Levein. “It wasn’t a night for great football. Once we got in front, yes, we were better. But this is not an easy place to come and win. We know that through experience. So to get the three points and get three goals without Esma and Kyle Lafferty, who have scored most of our goals, was quite pleasing for me.

“I felt the first goal would be critical and I didn’t feel we were under much pressure. So I hoped we would get it and then I was confident we would get more. But that first goal was critical.”

For his Hamilton counterpart, Martin Canning, who is already having to get used to losing Greg Docherty, who was last night given permission to move on to Rangers, that opener was a bitter pill to swallow, as poor decision- making by his team gifted Hearts the opportunity.

“Crazy mistakes are costing us,” said Canning. “Greg Docherty’s loss is a blow. He’s been productive player for us and a big goal threat but this club’s ethos is not to stand in a player’s way. We’ve done our job with Greg and now the players and club benefits.”