Hearts have hit out at Blackpool manager Mick McCarthy after he questioned whether they were being honest about his club’s interest in Toby Sibbick.
The recently-appointed Seasiders boss was responding to questions about Sibbick after reports claimed his club had been told the former Barnsley player was not for sale after submitting a bid.
Quoted on Lancashire Live, the former Celtic defender said: “We’ve been looking around at players and (are) interested in players, but I wouldn’t discuss transfers unless someone comes into the building – and then I’d say ‘you’d know by then’.
“I’m not quite sure they (Hearts) are being honest. Are they just trying to trigger somebody else to come in and offer more? I don’t get that. Sometimes people say somebody has bid hoping they can get a bigger bid.
“They say somebody has made a bid, so it looks great to the club, the crowd and the fans that they’re keeping him. Whether we’ve bid or not is for (sporting director) Chris (Badlan) and (chief executive) Ben (Mansford) to tell you.”
Hearts responded with a statement on Thursday night.
“The club wishes to put an end to speculation surrounding the future of Toby Sibbick,” they said.
“Contrary to comments attributed to Blackpool manager Mick McCarthy earlier today, we can confirm that Blackpool submitted one bid for Toby on Monday, at 8.33pm, which was dismissed out of hand.
“Subsequently, Blackpool have been told that Toby, a much-valued part of our team, is not for sale.
“For anyone to suggest that we have been not ‘honest’ about the situation is, in itself, extremely disingenuous.
“The club would prefer to conduct all transfer matters in private, but we will not sit back and let the good name of Heart of Midlothian be besmirched.”