Craig Levein confident Hearts will sign players after losing Kyle Lafferty to Rangers
Last Updated: 23/08/18 11:57am
Craig Levein is confident Hearts will sign a replacement for Kyle Lafferty before the transfer window closes in Scotland on August 31.
Last season's top scorer for Hearts has been allowed to return to Rangers for an undisclosed fee and Levein's focus has now shifted to replacing him.
Hearts had attempted to speed through the signing of David Vanecek from Teplice, who is due in Edinburgh in January after signing a pre-contract agreement, but Levein admitted that is looking unlikely to happen.
The Hearts boss has other targets in mind, however, and is keeping his fingers crossed that up to three new faces, including cover for injured captain Christophe Berra, could arrive in Gorgie before the August 31 transfer deadline.
Speaking about Lafferty's departure, Levein said: "Everybody has got a price and I felt the price we got for Kyle was good, so it is a normal situation really.
"I don't think it's any secret that Kyle wanted to go back to Rangers so for us it was just about getting the right price. It's not the first time I've been in this rodeo, so it's just normal.
"Rangers' interest hasn't come as a surprise so we've had time long enough to consider other options.
"We have signed David Vanecek on a pre-contract from Teplice in the Czech Republic and even before Kyle left I've been trying to hurry that process up.
"But it doesn't seem like they are willing to let him go at this moment in time, so I have other things in mind to bring someone else in until David gets here in January.
"I don't want to go into too many details in this moment in time but I'm pretty sure within the next day or two if David is not coming, we'll have someone else.
"There are a couple of other things I'm also looking at and I'm confident when the window closes we'll be stronger than we are right at this minute in time."
Meanwhile, Levein has hinted Scotland risk losing Hearts defender John Souttar to Australia if he continues being overlooked by Alex McLeish.
Souttar, who has an Australian grandmother, has been named in Scot Gemmill's under-21 squad for next month's Euro double-header with Andorra and Holland.
And Levein suggested Scotland could be in danger of letting him slip from their grasp if the 21-year-old is not given his breakthrough at full international level soon.
Asked if he thought his youngster was ready to challenge the likes of Aberdeen defender Scott McKenna and Celtic's Jack Hendry for a place in the national team, former Scotland manager Levein replied: "He has been for a while.
"He's got an Australian granny, you know that? I'm being serious. It is not my call though. I just know he's got an Australian granny, that's all.
"I'm not in any way, shape or form trying to tell anyone who to pick for the Scotland squad. I had enough people trying to tell me when I was the Scotland manager.
"I'm just pointing the fact out, that's all."