Hearts want to keep Paulo Sergio and have said the ball is in his court to pledge his future to the club.
Tynecastle managing director David Southern said the board wants Sergio, who won the Scottish Cup in first season at Hearts, to remain in Gorgie after his contract ran out after the last game of the term.
Southern would not be drawn on when a deal could be struck but said he is hopeful that Sergio’s relationship with the fans will sway the Portuguese.
The Hearts chief said: “The club want to keep Paulo Sergio, we hope that he chooses to stay as the Heart of Midlothian manager and we’ll find out hopefully in not too long a period as to what direction those talks take.
“I don’t want to talk about timing or substance to those talks but it is important to note that we do want him to stay and we hope he chooses to stay.
“I think he knows very well of the affection that is held for him and the rest of the coaching team at the club.
“I could see in his eyes that he was blown away by the reception but Paulo is very modest and he wanted the team to take the majority of the praise.”
Southern also took the opportunity to praise the Hearts majority shareholder Vladimir Romanov, who continues to bankroll the club.
Romanov is still open to selling Hearts but Southern said that he would only do so if a buyer could prove he can outspend the investment of the Lithuania-based businessman.
Southern said: “Mr Romanov has been hugely influential to the club, not just through his investment but through his general support of the club. We are in a very fortunate position in that as a club and as a business we can progress with his backing.
“What he has assured everyone of publicly is that while he may be interested in selling the club, he will not sell it to anyone who cannot develop the club and take it to the next level.”
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