Hearts boss Robbie Neilson has explained why striker Craig Wighton didn’t leave the club in the January transfer window.

The player has agreed to join Dunfermline next season, after signing a pre-contract agreement with the Championship side. However, no deal was reached for the player in January. Meaning that Wighton will be at Hearts for the rest of the season.

No fee was agreed

The reason for that, according to Neilson is that no club agreed a fee with Hearts for the player. They weren’t going to let him leave for nothing in the January window.

Hearts v Hibernian - Scottish Cup Semi-Final

Craig Wighton in action for Hearts (Photo by Ross Parker/SNS Group via Getty Images)

“If there was a deal to be done, and they wanted to pay a fee for him, then we would have been more than happy to do that” he said (Edinburgh Evening News).

“We see Craig as an asset at the moment. He has scored a number of goals. We aren’t going to let a guy who has scored a number of goals just walk out on a free when he’s still an asset to the club” Neilson explained.

Player will get more game time at new club

Neilson went on to disclose that he was allowing the player to leave the club as he felt Wighton would get more regular game time away from Tynecastle.

Heart of Midlothian v Hibernian - Scottish Cup: First Semi-Final

Craig Wighton scores for Hearts (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

“Craig has been here a number of years now. We just felt it was time for him to go and get consistent game time. At this moment in time he’s still a first-team player. But he will sign with Dunfermline and start to prepare for next season. We’ve got other guys who will be here longer term.”

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