Blazej Augustyn & Miguel Pallardo to leave Hearts

By Brian McLauchlinBBC Scotland
Blazej Augustyn
Augustyn picked up two red cards as he helped Hearts finish third in the Premiership

Defender Blazej Augustyn will leave Hearts at the end of the season.

The 28-year-old from Poland was the Tynecastle club's first summer signing last year and has featured in 27 matches for the Tynecastle club.

Spanish midfielder Miguel Pallardo, 29, is also departing when his contract expires in the summer.

The former Levante player helped Hearts win promotion to the top flight but has made just 13 starts during this campaign.

Head coach Robbie Neilson is busy with plans to reshape his squad.

And he says Hearts must move quickly on their signing targets, with Europa League qualifiers starting on 30 June.

"It's really important we get things moving," Neilson told BBC Scotland.

"We are pretty far along the line with one and there are another couple we are making inroads on.

"The market we are in at this time of year, the players start coming up. Still, it's important that we look everywhere and keep our options open."

'Hibs return good for top flight'

Having steered Hearts to a third place finish, Neilson expects the Scottish Premiership to be much stronger next season with Rangers being promoted and Hibernian in with a chance via the play-offs.

And he insists it would be good for the top flight should their Edinburgh rivals gain promotion.

"I think it will help every team," explained Neilson. "Players want to play in big games, the fans want to go to big games and I want to coach in big games.

"You want the biggest teams in the top flight. You want the likes of Hibs and Dundee United back up playing in big games and making it more competitive."

Neilson aims to assess some of his fringe players in the final two games of the season against Aberdeen and St Johnstone.

"The most important thing is to win the games and try and develop some of the young players," he said.

"I will be looking to get some of the young players involved to give them an opportunity to want to play in a huge game at Pittodrie and also hopefully a full house at Tynecastle against St Johnstone on Sunday."

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