Hearts in no rush for new recruits

JIM JEFFERIES is determined not to rush his recruitment drive before the end of the season despite being offered so many players he cannot keep track.

The Hearts manager was today linked with a summer move for the out-of-contract St Mirren pair Billy Mehmet and Andy Dorman. He is already monitoring several players north and south of the Border and has dispatched scouts to watch the Dundee forward Leigh Griffiths and Dunfermline midfielder Steven Bell in recent weeks.

He has also been credited with an interest in Kevin Kyle and Craig Bryson, both of whom he managed at Kilmarnock, plus Falkirk's Scott Arfield.

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Jefferies expects incoming and outgoing transfers this summer and has been inundated with calls from agents of late. His preference is to wait and discuss any squad reshuffling later next month, when he will convene with majority shareholder Vladimir Romanov and the Tynecastle board.

He refused to confirm the names of any potential signing targets, stating that the final decisions will not be taken until the current campaign is over.

"I don't know how many agents have phoned me telling me this one's available and that one's available," Jefferies told the Evening News.

"I've said to them we haven't decided who our targets are and we'll keep that close to our chest before we make any comment on any player. We say we'll let you know and suddenly they take the view that because you haven't said 'no' that you're interested. But we haven't said 'yes' either.

"We'll let people know once decisions are made.

"That will be once I sit down with people and look at the squad and see the areas we need to strengthen.

"It's no secret we will look at the striking options for next year and we'll do that over the next few weeks as the season closes.

"There is still a lot to think about. I want to concentrate on the games coming up. There is plenty time at the end of the season to tell people what we're doing and what we aren't doing.

"We aren't going to rush into anything just because people keep asking us.

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"We still have games to concentrate on. We already have the nucleus of a good side.

"If we can just add in the key areas and make it better, then everybody's going to be happy. But that's the hard part."

Hearts have already secured the services of Falkirk captain Darren Barr for next season on a pre-contract agreement.