Hearts manager Robbie Neilson has hailed Toby Sibbick as a ‘key player’ after admitting that Blackpool’s bid for the defender fell short of the club’s valuation.

The English Championship side were unsuccessful with an offer in the region of £400,000.

Sibbick has established himself as an important member of the team amid a series of injuries in defence to the likes of Craig Halkett, Stephen Kingsley and Kye Rowles.

The 23-year-old also capped a fine display in Sunday’s 3-0 Scottish Cup win at Hibs with the final goal at Easter Road.

And Neilson insists the Tynecastle side have no plans to sell the former Barnsley this month.

Neilson said: “He is a very important player to us, any player that we have at this football club has a value and that value didn’t get matched so he’ll stay here and I hope that stays until at least the end of the season because we need him.

"It’s the whole process of building a team, there’s no point in bringing people in in the summer then six months later flipping them for money that we didn’t believe the value is there. 

“We’re building a team around key players and at the moment Toby is one of those key players.”

Neilson has already signed Yutaro Oda, Karang Kuol and James Hill this season and insists he is not yet finished in the transfer market.

Neilson, who has made no secret of his desire to bring back Scotland cap Callum Paterson from Sheffield Wednesday, added: “We’re working on that at the moment but as we know at this time of year it can be difficult. 

“We’ve got a couple of targets there and we’ll try and get one of them in. I’d like to get it done before the weekend but I’m not so sure.”

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Neilson, meanwhile, has described Craig Gordon as an inspiration as the Scotland goalkeeper steps up his rehabilitation from a horrific double leg break.

Exactly a month after suffering the injury against Dundee United, the 40-year-old posted pictures on social media of himself doing strength and conditioning exercises in the gym on Tuesday.

However, Neilson has refused to say when he expects the club captain to return from the serious injury.

Neilson, speaking to Sky Sports, added: “First of all he’s an inspiration to all the players here and outwith this football club as well that he is so desperate to come back. 

“He’s putting in all the work and doing everything he can and there’s no surprise from our perspective because we know what a top professional he is.

“We’ve not really put any timelines on it, it’s just a case of making sure he gets back to full fitness first and foremost. 

“If you ask him he’s pushing all the time but from our perspective it’s giving him the time he needs and when he’s ready he’ll be back.

“When he was playing prior to his injury he was always looking to the next objective, whether it was 700 games or clean sheets, appearances in Europe.

“I think this has given him the hunger in his belly to go and try and get back playing, not just at Hearts but international level as well.”