Hearts must re-sign 'fantastic' Sam Nicholson - Jordan McGhee

Hearts winger Sam Nicholson
Scotland Under-19 winger Sam Nicholson is in re-signing talks with Hearts

Hearts defender Jordan McGhee has urged the club to retain the services of fellow teenager Sam Nicholson.

Winger Nicholson is in contract talks after the Edinburgh club were relegated from the Scottish Premiership.

"Sam is a fantastic player," said 17-year-old McGhee of the Scotland Under-19 midfielder with whom he who broke into the Hearts side this season.

"Hopefully Hearts can get Sam tied down because he's a really good prospect for the club and a great guy as well."

McGhee, who played once for Hearts the previous season before 20 appearances last term, believes that Nicholson can light up the Championship in the next campaign along with Jamie Walker.

"Every time you see him get the ball, the fans always start cheering, he gets by a few players and you know something's going to happen," he said of the winger who turned out 26 times for Hearts last season.

Hearts defender Jordan McGhee
McGhee was at Tynecastle to launch Hearts' new away kit

Scotland Under-21 international McGhee is also "relishing" working under new head coach Robbie Neilson after the former Hearts full-back's promotion from the youth set-up.

"He took us for the under-20 side, he's a really good manager and a great guy to work with," he told BBC Scotland.

"I am sure all the boys are looking forward to working with him on the 26th when we're back."

McGhee is also thankful for the advice of departed manager Gary Locke.

"Like a lot of boys my age, I've been working away at the gym trying to make myself bigger," he said when asked about his summer holidays.

"Gary Locke said that's what I need in my position of centre-back."

Hearts are being tipped as promotion contenders along with Edinburgh rivals Hibernian, who were also relegated, and League One champions Rangers.

However, McGhee is not discounting a challenge from smaller clubs.

"The main aim is to win it, but you have to look at the likes of Falkirk and Livingston, who have been down there for a few years," he said.

"It's not just about Rangers, Hearts and Hibs because other teams have experienced players who know what it's like in that division."