Ten signings have arrived at Tynecastle Park over the summer months and more will arrive once the winter transfer window opens on New Year’s Day. Hearts sporting director Joe Savage and manager Robbie Neilson are already working to identify targets for key positions.
Neilson spoke to the Evening News on the subject but would not be drawn on specific areas of the team he wants to improve. At least one new defender is expected to be high on the priority list after injuries have left this department stretched in recent weeks.
“We’re not going to come out and say we need this, this and this, but we have ideas,” Neilson said. “Like any transfer window, you want to be stronger by the time you come out of it. That will be the goal. We have already discussed positions and we are trying to find players in those positions, although we have a number of games to play before getting to the heart of the matter.
Funds are in place for new faces, although it’s also possible that one or two players from the squad will transfer in January. The reshuffle is meant to help Hearts in their quest to finish third in the Cinch Premiership for a second consecutive year under Neilson. This would guarantee European football again next season.
This year’s Europa Conference League adventure continues on Thursday when Latvian champions RFS travel to Tynecastle for matchday five of the group stage. Hearts has earned over £3m for participating in the competition and wants to secure that level of income every year.
Neilson pointed out that there was money to fund the January plans. “Every window, there are funds there at Hearts. Always,” he said. “It’s just about picking the right players, the right positions and the right kinds of people. There will be movement in January, but what the movement is will depend on what we decide.
“I’m not going to say what positions we’re looking to strengthen. We have players there right now who need to perform, make sure they stay in the team and make sure they show they can stay here.