Paulo Sergio’s Hearts talks reach critical stage

CONTRACT talks between Paulo Sergio and Hearts are at a critical stage as the Portuguese coach waits to learn whether he is to continue as manager at Tynecastle next season.

Sergio is remaining cautious but hopeful that his plans match those of the Hearts hierarchy and was last night awaiting key information relating to a possible new deal. “I am waiting for something from them. We will see what happens,” he said.

Hearts have an exclusive option to keep Sergio for another 12 months as part of the contract he signed with the Edinburgh club upon replacing Jim Jefferies last August. They are attempting to invoke that clause provided terms can be agreed.

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Sergio hopes to hear a definitive answer on whether he will continue as manager within the next 24-48 hours. He is currently at home in Portugal but is eager to begin planning for pre-season.

Senior Hearts officials have indicated to the Evening News that they hope to have a solution to the situation before the end of this week.

The club have already organised three pre-season friendlies for next month. A mixture of first team and youth players will participate in matches with Raith Rovers, Falkirk and Livingston on July 14, 18 and 21 respectively. All the friendlies are away from home.