HEARTS have tonight parted company with Scottish Cup-winning manager Paulo Sergio.
The club confirmed the Portuguese coach had left Tynecastle three weeks after the Hampden success and said it was down to a failure to agree terms on a new contract.
• Paulo Sergio has left Hearts after failing to agree terms on new contract
• Sergio “deeply regretted” breakdown of talks
• First-team coach Gary Locke will remain at the club as search for new manager begins
Sergio said he “deeply regretted” the fact that talks had broken down.
He added: “I appreciate the road the club is now going down and respect what our board is doing. But I cannot accept the offer the club has made me.
“I want to say many thanks to everybody who worked with us, including our board, and special thanks to our supporters.
“I wish the very best to this great football club and I am now just one more Hearts supporter.
“I would also like to say thank you to all the players, who will be friends for life.”
A Hearts spokesperson said: “Paulo Sergio declined the offer of a new contract. We wanted to keep Paulo Sergio at Hearts and made what we believed was our best offer in the circumstances. The same terms will be available to other candidates willing to lead Hearts to new victories.
“We would like to put on record our appreciation of all his efforts, and those of Alberto Cabral and Sergio Cruz, in bringing the Scottish Cup back to Tynecastle.”
The club the search for a new manager was already under way and that first-team coach Gary Locke remained at the club.