Hearts defender Craig Halkett has signed a new two-and-a-half-year deal with the club which will keep him at Tynecastle until the summer of 2024.

Halkett has had a much improved season with the Jambos this year after initially struggling for form after joining from Livingston in 2019.

The 26-year-old was one of a number of players who’s contract was due to expire in the summer, but he joins club captain Craig Gordon on the list of players to recently sign a new deal at the club.

Hearts will now attempt to secure the services of Halkett’s defensive partner Stephen Kingsley among others, however it seems inevitable that John Souttar will be departing the club in the coming months.

Speaking to the Official Hearts Website, manager Robbie Neilson said: “I’m delighted that Craig has committed his future to the club. He’s a big player for us and he’s really come into his own this season with some standout performances.

“To have him around for the next two-and-a-half years is welcome news and I’m sure he and the team will continue to go from strength to strength.”

Meanwhile, sporting director Joe Savage hinted that more good news is just around the corner:

“We want to keep our best players at the club so that we can continue to progress, and Craig has been a big part of our journey so far.

“It was, therefore, a no brainer to make him an offer and I’m really happy that there was a keenness from all sides to get it done.

“It’s great news ahead of our return to action, and I’m hopeful that we’ll have even more good news in the coming days.”

Premier Sports Cup – Heart of Midlothian v Inverness Caledonian Thistle 25/7/2021. Hearts play host to Inverness Caledonian Thistle in the Premier Sports Cup at tynecastle Park, Edinburgh, Midlothian. Pic shows: Hearts’ Canadian Right-Back, Craig Halkett. Credit: Ian Jacobs