Mihai Popescu receives overdue Dinamo wages but faces a battle to play for Hearts next season

Hearts defender Mihai Popescu faces strong competition for his place at Tynecastle.Hearts defender Mihai Popescu faces strong competition for his place at Tynecastle.
Hearts defender Mihai Popescu faces strong competition for his place at Tynecastle.
Hearts defender Mihai Popescu has received outstanding wages from former club Dinamo Bucharest after returning home to Romania.

The 28-year-old confirmed that money owed to him and Dinamo team-mates had been paid by the club’s owner. It is understood he was due several weeks’ salary from last summer.

Popescu intends to watch his old side in action whilst at home before reporting back to Riccarton for pre-season training on June 15. However, he faces a fight for a regular place in next season’s Hearts team.

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With the club coveting a new centre-back to compete alongside John Souttar and Craig Halkett, Popescu could find himself fourth-choice for his favoured position.

He dropped out of the starting line-up for the final five games of the season, making only one substitute appearance as Hearts recorded five successive clean sheets. His contract runs until summer 2022.

Speaking to Romanian media, Popescu explained that the issue of overdue cash is now settled. “It was solved, I received my money and in this way I want to thank them,” he told ProSport.

“They run the club and paid the debts to the players who had a much higher amount than me to receive, but I thank them for helping me. I received my outstanding salaries and I wish them good luck.

“I talked to some of the fans who are my friends and they supported me all the time, but I am happy for everyone and for everyone who participated in this partnership.”

He is keen for his former club to attract greater investment to bring more success.

“I think about the fate of the team,” he added. “So far they [the owners] have shown that they are able to keep the club, to save the club, as they saved it so far, but in my opinion and I want to mention that it is my personal opinion, they would you need a man with financial potential.

“Not that they wouldn't be able to do it, but if they want results, play-offs and European cups, they need a fixed budget, a fairly grand budget and they would need a person with financial potential.”

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