Andy Driver talks with Vlad over Hearts future

ANDY DRIVER was in Lithuania yesterday for discussions on his Hearts future with the club's majority shareholder Vladimir Romanov.

The winger returned from holiday last Wednesday and jetted out of Edinburgh again on Sunday having been invited to Kaunas by Romanov for talks. A number of suitors have enquired about Driver's availability in recent weeks and Hearts are considering selling one of their prize assets, provided they can secure an acceptable transfer fee.

Chelsea, Wigan Athletic, Burnley, Middlesbrough and FC Twente have all declared an interest but the Tynecastle hierarchy have stated that 3.5million will be the starting price for any negotiations.

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Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich is a close friend of Romanov and the pair have discussed a potential season-long loan agreement for Driver including an optional 5m transfer thereafter. Burnley suggested a potential 3m deal, comprising an initial 1.5m and the remainder in add-ons.

Romanov is willing to do business but also wants to consult Driver about where he sees his future. The 22-year-old, contracted to Hearts until 2013, was due to return to Edinburgh today.

Meanwhile, Hearts have extended their gratitude to supporters who donated more than 11,000 to the club's education and community trust via season ticket purchases for next season.

The amount garnered represents a 100 per cent increase on last year's total.

"Once again the Hearts fans have shown their unwavering support of our community programme and we are extremely grateful," said Alan White, Hearts' community development manager.