BY DARREN JOHNSTONE – Capital City Press
Hearts head coach Robbie Neilson is tomorrow expected to decide whether to hand former Dundee United team-mate Danny Swanson a contract at the club.
The 28-year-old is currently on trial with the Tynecastle outfit after negotiating his release from English League One side Coventry City before the transfer window closed last Tuesday.
It is understood that Swanson, who spent the second half of last season on loan at St Johnstone, will train with the Premiership newcomers until Wednesday.
Swanson was signed by Hearts director of football Craig Levein for United and then played alongside right-back Neilson at Tannadice during the 2011/12 campaign.
The former Berwick Rangers playmaker fell out of favour under Tony Mowbray at the Sky Blues and was allowed to leave the club last week.
St Johnstone are also keen to bring Swanson back to McDiarmid Park but it appears that Hearts have first refusal over the attacking midfielder.
Speaking after he released Swanson, Mowbray, said: “I had a lot of long one-on-one conversations in my office with Danny Swanson and I hope there’s a mutual respect for each other on the way it worked out.
“I don’t think anyone could deny his talent as a footballer. There are just other issues, I think, for him to get into our team and play on a regular basis, which is what he wanted to do and I highlighted to him that was probably not going to happen.
“I said to him that in different circumstances I like players with his talent; I like what he can do with a football. I think we’d have to have got him fitter and working harder, and he understands all that.
“With his fitness levels I could only ever see him coming off the bench and trying to impact a match for us. In the end he just wanted to play football and I couldn’t guarantee he’d get in our team.
“So the decision was made, and he goes off to play football in Scotland and we have a salary that we can use elsewhere.”