HEARTS are negotiating a compensation fee with Queen of the South for striker Gavin Reilly, who could become their first summer signing. However, both clubs are some distance apart in their discussions as the Dumfries side want a six-figure amount for the 22-year-old.
Reilly is out of contract and eager to join Hearts after 15 goals in 39 appearances for Queens this season. He is now waiting to learn if he can secure a move to Edinburgh having held positive talks with Tynecastle officials.
Discussions between the clubs are ongoing in the hope that they can agree on the development money due to Queens for a player produced by the Palmerston Park youth programme. “I’d have liked to have kept Gavin but I can understand the lure of the Premiership is a strong one. We have still to agree a development fee,” admitted James Fowler, the Queen of the South manager.
Hearts know Reilly is keen to sign and see him as a player with potential who could contribute to their attack in the Scottish Premiership next season. They already have several options up front including Osman Sow, Soufian El Hassnaoui, James Keatings, Gary Oliver and Dale Carrick.
Keatings’ future remains
uncertain for the moment as he has been told he is free to find a new club if he wishes. The 23-year-old intends to stay and fight for a place at Tynecastle, but wants to play regularly in the starting line-up. Head coach Robbie Neilson has told the forward he will be a squad player next season.
Reilly’s arrival would increase competition for game time amongst the forwards, although it remains to be seen if Hearts and Queen of the South can reach agreement on the development fee.