Robbie Neilson completes return to Hearts as manager

Neilson has agreed terms and will replace Daniel Stendel at the helm.

Deal done: Robbie Neilson returns to Hearts.
Deal done: Robbie Neilson returns to Hearts.

Hearts have completed a Tynecastle return for Robbie Neilson on a three-year-deal.

He will replace Daniel Stendel at the helm – Hearts having agreed compensation with Dundee United.

Neilson leaves Tannadice after securing the Championship title last season.

He will begin a second spell at Hearts, who had their relegation confirmed on Monday after reconstruction proposals were voted down.

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Neilson said: “You don’t turn down the chance to come to a club like Hearts and I’m absolutely delighted to be coming back.

“I had some great experiences here, both as a player and manager, and I’m keen to pick up where I left off.

“Everyone knows there is a really good squad at Hearts and I’m excited to begin working with the players and staff. 

“Finally, I’d like to say thank you to Dundee United for the opportunity they gave me two years ago. I hope the United fans feel that together we managed to restore the club back to where it belongs.”

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Neilson was previously head coach at Hearts between 2014 and 2016. The former defender won the Scottish Championship with Hearts in 2015 and finished 3rd in the Scottish Premiership the following season.

He then left in December 2016 for a spell at MK Dons, before taking up his post at Dundee United in October of 2018.

His departure means his tenure at Tannadice lasted just under two years.

Dundee United sporting director Tony Asghar said: “I can confirm that I was called today by Ann Budge seeking permission to speak with Robbie Neilson to become Hearts’ new head coach. 

“This was turned down, however, after lengthy discussions with Robbie he made it clear he wished to speak with them. As a result of this, the contractual termination clause has been met and Robbie will leave the club. 

“As head coach, he led the team to a play-off final before achieving promotion with a Championship title this season and I would like to thank him for his contribution. 

“Gordon Forest and Lee McCulloch will continue leading our pre-season preparations ahead of the Scottish Premiership restart and we will look to appoint a new head coach as soon as possible.”


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