FC Groningen will sell on-loan Hearts striker Genero Zeefuik to the highest bidder this summer.
The Dutch club confirmed today that Zeefuik has no future with them and they now hope to recoup some of the ¤500,000 paid to PSV Eindhoven for him in 2012.
Dick Lukkien, Groningen’s assistant coach, told the Evening News that the 24-year-old is surplus to requirements and that club officials will listen to offers from any interested party. Having played much of the season in the reserves, Zeefuik joined Hearts on loan last week and marked his debut with two goals in a 5-1 rout of Dumbarton on Saturday.
He is contractually obliged to return to Groningen when the loan expires at the end of the season as his deal runs until June 2016. However, Lukkien explained that Zeefuik’s career at Groningen is all but over and invited Hearts and other clubs to make them an offer for the player.
“At Groningen, we have made a decision that we want to sell Genero. Any club that is interested can buy him but it has to be at the right price. They need to talk to our sports director but Genero may leave the club,” said Lukkien.
“Hearts were interested in a loan deal for this spell and that’s okay for us because we think it is good for Genero to play. Every club who is interested can buy him, though. We want him to play, we want him to continue his career and probably that is not at Groningen so he can leave.”
Clubs in the Netherlands are interested but it remains to be seen whether Hearts would do a deal. Finances have stabilised at Tynecastle since the end of administration last year, thanks to healthy home crowds and cash injections from the fans’ group Foundation of Hearts.
Head coach Robbie Neilson and director of football Craig Levein will judge Zeefuik for themselves over the next few months before deciding whether to pursue a permanent move. The player made a fine start to his time in Scotland with a double at the weekend and is now poised to start in a crucial match against Rangers this Friday night.