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Robbie Neilson suggests Hearts closing in on Nathaniel Atkinson deal

By December 22, 2021No Comments

Robbie Neilson has hinted that Hearts are closing in on the signing of Australian right-back Nathaniel Atkinson.

It has been reported that the Tynecastle club have already agreed a deal to bring in the 22-year-old from Melbourne City at the start of January.

When asked about Atkinson, manager Neilson remained tight-lipped but did nothing to quell suggestions that the player was on his way to Edinburgh.

“I said previously we were going to strengthen in certain areas,” he said. “It’s an area we’re looking at but I’m not going to speak about him because it’s something that’s in the process of happening at the moment. We have to be respectful of other teams’ players.”

Neilson is not expecting a particularly busy January transfer window but is keen to get any business done swiftly.

He said: “Like any club, you want to bring players in as early as you can. You don’t want to be sitting on the last day of January trying to bring in two or three players.

“We know what we need to get in and we want to get it done early to prepare for the games at the middle to end of January.”

Neilson believes Hearts’ form in the first half of the season is likely to lead to interest in several of his players.

“I think there will be interest in a number of our players,” he said. “We’ve got a few guys coming out of contract and a few who are in contract and playing very well so I would expect some sort of offer for three or four of our players.”

Neilson will be hoping he does not have to go into the market for a new left-sided defender, with Stephen Kingsley currently awaiting results of a scan on the injury that forced him off against Dundee last Saturday.

The manager said: “I’m not sure he’ll make it for Sunday (against Ross County) but I don’t expect him to be out long term.”