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Hearts ‘still negotiating with Liverpool’ over Ben Woodburn loan deal

Bradford City v Liverpool – Pre-Season Friendly – Utilita Energy Stadium
(Image credit: Barrington Coombs)

Hearts manager Robbie Neilson is prepared to remain patient as the club pursue Liverpool midfielder Ben Woodburn and other targets.

The cinch Premiership club are trying to persuade Liverpool to allow the 21-year-old Wales international to move north on loan.

Woodburn has made 11 first-team appearances for the Reds and won 10 international caps, along with gaining experience on loan spells with Sheffield United, Oxford and Blackpool.

Neilson said: “We are still negotiating with Liverpool. We are almost done with it, it’s just a case of trying to get things finalised.

“He is still a Liverpool player at the moment and he is one we are really interested in taking here.

“I don’t want to comment too much on it. We are still negotiating, as we are with a few other players as well. We will see how it goes in the next couple of days.

“We have waited a number of months now to get the right players in. We are continuing to do that now with the guys we are trying to recruit. If we need to wait, we need to wait.”

Neilson was speaking a day after it was confirmed that Hearts would become a fan-owned club by the end of the month.

The Foundation of Hearts will assume control from Ann Budge more than seven years after teaming up with the businesswoman to rescue the club from the threat of liquidation.

“It’s absolutely magnificent, the achievement of Ann and the fans and the board, and everyone who put it together in the Foundation of Hearts,” said Neilson, whose team host Aberdeen in the league on Sunday.

“It’s a monumental achievement for us all. It’s continuing as well, the fans are continuing to back the team, and now it’s about building and moving forward.

“It’s a wonderful achievement but I believe it’s just the start now with fan ownership.

“I was here before Ann took over so I know what state the club was left in and the problems in the background.

“The work that has gone in and the commitment from the Foundation of Hearts and the board and Ann and everyone involved, but also from the fans, donating money every month, is just magnificent.

“To be the biggest fan-owned club in Britain is some achievement.”