Craig Gordon: Hearts' Daniel Stendel coy on Celtic goalkeeper link

Celtic goalkeeper Craig Gordon at McDiarmid Park
Craig Gordon was on the bench for Celtic's victory over St Johnstone at McDiarmid Park

Daniel Stendel is remaining coy over goalkeeper Craig Gordon's potential return to Hearts.

The 37-year-old, out of contract at Celtic this summer, is understood to be keen on a return to Tynecastle, where he started his career.

"I think he's a really good goalkeeper and an important player with a history with Hearts," said Stendel.

"But he's playing for Celtic and has a contract with them. We have [been linked with] a lot of names."

Celtic manager Neil Lennon said on Wednesday that Gordon, who is back-up to Fraser Forster, remains an important part of his squad he does not want to lose.

Stendel pointed out that he himself has three senior goalkeepers - Czech Republic cap Zdenek Zlamal, Republic of Ireland international Colin Doyle and Joel Pereira, the Swiss on loan from Manchester United who he stressed "has played well in the last games".

Pressed on whether he would be interested in the Celtic goalkeeper should he become available, Stendel replied: "When you say available, but he has a contract, no?"

Lennon conceded that Gordon "wants to play obviously with the Euros in mind", with the veteran keen to be part of Steve Clarke's Scotland squad for the Euro 2020 finals play-off against Israel, a possible final and the finals themselves.

Gordon began his career at Tynecastle, making 176 appearances and helping the team to 2006 Scottish Cup success before joining Sunderland a year later for £9m - a then British record fee for a goalkeeper.

He has spent the last five-and-a-half years with Celtic but lost his place to the currently injured Scott Bain for the second half of last season.

Without giving a specific number, the Hearts boss said the Edinburgh club aimed to add to their squad before the transfer deadline.

Meanwhile, Hearts confirmed on Thursday that veteran striker Steven MacLean has joined Raith Rovers on loan until the end of the season, while winger Calumn Morrison had moved to the Kirkcaldy club's local rivals in League One, East Fife.

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