HEARTS have confirmed Robbie Neilson as their new manager.

The Tynecastle club were given permission to speak to Neilson after the 40-year-old made it clear to Dundee United that he wanted to move back to Gorgie.

United had refused an initial approach from Ann Budge’s side, but Neilson made it clear that his intentions were to return to Hearts.

A club statement read: "Heart of Midlothian Football Club is delighted to announce that we have this evening agreed terms with all relevant parties for the return of Robbie Neilson as manager.

"The 40-year-old rejoins the Jambos on a three-year-deal after compensation was agreed with Dundee United.

"A trophy winner in spells as both a player and head coach at Hearts, the former Scotland cap needs no introduction to anyone of a maroon persuasion."

After his plea, Tannadice owner Mark Ogren made it clear to Neilson that he that he had no future at United.

Neilson guided Dundee United to Championship glory this term after the Scottish football season was curtailed early due to the coronavirus crisis.

But he had no qualms about making the move back to Hearts.

Speaking about the move 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.”

Neilson returns to Tynecastle, where he spent two seasons as manager before moving to MK Dons in 2016.

He replaces Daniel Stendel as manager, with the German departing Edinburgh after just six months in charge.

It is understood Hearts had to pay Dundee United a six-figure fee to land Neilson as their new boss, after the former Scotland international recently signed a two-year contract with the Terrors.

It remains to be seen whether Neilson will be managing Hearts in the Premiership or the Championship after the Jambos and Partick Thistle entered legal proceedings against the SPFL following their decision to end the Scottish football season early.

The pair lodged a petition at the Court of Session on Wednesday with the Scottish Professional Football League having seven days to respond.

Both were consigned to relegation when clubs voted to terminate the season with their fates ratified this week when the final attempt at league reconstruction failed.