Mehdi Taouil to leave Hearts

HEARTS continued to cut costs yesterday when they announced that Mehdi Taouil is to leave the club this summer.
Mehdi Taouil: Leaving Hearts. Picture: SNSMehdi Taouil: Leaving Hearts. Picture: SNS
Mehdi Taouil: Leaving Hearts. Picture: SNS

The Morocco international arrived under his old Kilmarnock manager, Jim Jefferies, two summers ago on what was then described as a three-year deal.

However, Hearts have not taken up the option of a third season for the 30-year-old, who has failed to fully win over the supporters at Tynecastle.

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The former Montpellier midfielder, whom Jefferies took to Kilmarnock in 2007, was described as a “special talent” when he arrived in the capital, but too often flattered to deceive in his 45 starts for the club.

Having been signed before owner Vladimir Romanov removed his financial backing for the Jambos, Taouil was one of the higher earners remaining in Gary Locke’s squad and it comes as little surprise that he has been told he will not be retained.

Taouil joins defenders Danny Grainger and Darren Barr, striker Gordon Smith and youngsters Denis Prychynenko and George Scott in departing this summer.

Skipper Marius Zaliukas also gave every indication he was playing his last game for the club when he came on in Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Aberdeen, while the future of Andy Webster, who is out of contract in the coming weeks, remains unclear.

Meanwhile, Hearts are free to sign new players after the SPL lifted the restrictions imposed on the stricken club earlier in the season and it is understood that Locke is now hopeful that he can make on-loan Liverpool defender Danny Wilson his first signing on a permanent deal.