BY ALAN TEMPLE, MALTA – @CCP_Sport
Hearts head coach Robbie Neilson insists Billy King could still have a future at Tynecastle after revealing the young winger has been handed a six-month extension to his deal with the capital club.
King, 22, joined Inverness Caledonian Thistle on a season-long loan earlier this week and, given his contract with Hearts was initially due to expire next summer, it was assumed his Jambos career was over.
However, Neilson last night explained that the ex-Rangers wide man’s deal has been extended until December 2017 – allowing him the opportunity to break into the side next term.
Neilson said: “We extended his contract by six months so that, when he comes back to the club next summer, we can have another look at him.
“He came back from Rangers and, with the players we brought in, he wasn’t going to get a lot of game-time. He is at an age where he needs first-team football and under-20 games are no good for him.
“Hopefully he goes out and gets plenty of game time and we’ll have another look.
“I think he will go there and do well, but we have [Sam] Nicholson, [Dario] Zanatta and [Jamie] Walker, and will look to recruit in wide areas, so we thought this was the best option for him.”
And Neilson confirmed that reinforcements could be funded by the exit of midfield man Morgaro Gomis, who also departed to join Malaysian outfit Kelantan this week.
He continued: “Morgaro is away permanently. I have spoken to him and wished him all the best. He was great for us while he was here and I’ve thanked him for all his efforts.
“It just got to a point where he wasn’t guaranteed football and not playing as much as he would like. He just wants to play every week and Malaysia was a big opportunity for him, we didn’t want to stand in his way.
“That frees up funds to recruit elsewhere. We have a very strong midfield but we will look to strengthen other areas.”