Hearts cool interest in Hartley

26 July 2010 09:32
Hearts have pulled out of a move for former player Paul Hartley amid speculation he refused to sign a statement distancing himself from the 'Riccarton Three' episode. The Gorgie club were discussing a two-year deal for the Scotland midfielder, who is about to become a free agent from Bristol City. However, one report claims Hartley, 33, was unhappy about a request made by the Edinburgh club. Four years ago, during his first spell at Hearts, Hartley, Craig Gordon and Steven Pressley issued a shock statement at the club's Riccarton training ground claiming unrest among the squad over majority shareholder Vladimir Romanov's rule. They were branded the Riccarton Three and within months all had left Tynecastle. Two weeks ago Hartley revealed his interest in returning to Gorgie but, after talks with the club, the deal appears to have fallen through. He could now join Aberdeen, who have also been trailing the former Celtic player. A Hearts spokesperson told the Scottish Sun: "Although our interest has now cooled in Paul Hartley, there are five weeks remaining before the transfer window closes. There are still a number of opportunities currently being explored to ensure we can bring in the right person."

Source: PA