Hearts travel to Ireland for pre-season camp without Norway international Bjorn Johnsen

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BY ALAN TEMPLE in DUBLIN – @CCP_Sport

BJORN JOHNSEN has not travelled to Ireland with Hearts as doubt regarding his Tynecastle future persists.

However, Hearts head coach Ian Cathro insists fitness concerns are behind his absence.

Johnsen, who made his international debut for Norway against the Czech Republic last month, was involved in a furious bust up with Cathro at half-time of their 1-0 defeat against St Johnstone in May.

Bolton have since been linked with a swoop for the New York-born marksman, who has scored seven goals in 37 appearances since joining the club in the summer of 2016.

“Bjorn is staying back to catch up on some conditioning,” said the Hearts boss. “He came back from the Norway games with a bit of a knock. It’s nothing to be concerned about but he’ll stay back to look after that.”

However, it is understood that Hearts would be open to the 25-year-old moving on this summer.

Along with Arnaud Djoum, who is not due to return to the club until July 17 following his Confederations Cup exertions with Cameroon, Liam Smith is the other notable absentee after he suffered an ankle injury last week.

“Liam has and ankle issue and that is going to be a few weeks, we need to manage that over the next few days and know exactly where he is at,” added Cathro, whose side face St Pat’s Athletic in Dublin tomorrow evening. “Three or four weeks, maximum.”

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