Josh Ginnelly will not be returning to Hearts next season after the Tynecastle club said he had rejected their “best possible” contract offer.
The forward enjoyed a strong finish to last season and scored ten goals in his 24 appearances in the Premiership as Hearts finished fourth in the league.
The Tynecastle side were keen to keep him on the books after the expiry of his contract this summer but announced that after discussions between both parties, a deal won’t be struck to keep him in Steven Naismith’s first team squad.
“Heart of Midlothian can confirm that Josh Ginnelly will not be returning to the club,” a club statement read.
“Josh’s contract with the Jambos expired last month, and despite the club making the best possible offers to retain his services, he has decided his future lies elsewhere.
“The club thanks Josh for his time in maroon and wishes him all the best with his next move.”
Ginnelly joined Hearts from Preston North End three years ago, initially on loan. He scored 22 goals and had 13 assists in his 89 competitive games for the club.
In a message to fans on social media, Ginnelly said it hadn’t been an easy decision to move on.
He said: “This has been one of the toughest decisions I’ve had to make but after taking time to reflect I’ve decided it’s time for a different challenge.
“I’m so proud to have played for this amazing club and I feel so proud to look back and see how far we’ve come over the last three years. I’ve made friends for life in the teammates that I’ve met along the way and it’s been an absolute pleasure to have played alongside you all.
“Thank you to all the staff who coached me through injuries and helped me through one of the toughest times of my career.
“I also wanted to say a special thank you to [head of football operations] Claire Cowan. Hearts wouldn’t be Hearts if it wasn’t for you. I wanted to say publicly that I hope you know how appreciated you are.
“Finally, thanks to all of the fans that have stuck by me throughout. You’ve made my time at Hearts and I’ll forever be grateful for the uplifts and constant support. Some fan base.
“All the best for the future. Thank you for everything.”