Hearts aim to keep Andy Webster

Hearts defender Andy Webster is out of contract in the summer. Picture: SNS
Hearts defender Andy Webster is out of contract in the summer. Picture: SNS
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HEARTS have told Darren Barr and Gordon Smith their Tynecastle careers are over. However, the club will make an attempt to keep Andy Webster for next season.

Initial talks have taken place and Webster could be offered a new contract on 
reduced terms.

Manager Gary Locke is eager to retain some 
experience within his squad and the 30-year-old 
Scotland centre-back is likely to get the chance to extend his stay before his existing deal expires in a matter of weeks. He would have to 
accept a wage cut and it is not yet clear where he sees his future.

Marius Zaliukas, Dylan McGowan, Arvydas Novikovas and Fraser Mullen are also out of contract this summer and are awaiting news on their futures. Danny Grainger was told earlier this year that a new contract would not be offered at that time, while Barr and Smith are the latest to be told to find new clubs as Locke 
begins shaping his squad for the new campaign.

Barr joined Hearts on a pre-contract agreement from Falkirk in 2010 and has been used in several positions during his three-year stay in Edinburgh. He will be remembered as the first goalscorer in last year’s 5-1 Scottish Cup final triumph over Hibs.

Smith arrived from Livingston in 2009, but has been unable to establish himself as a first-team regular. At 22, the striker still harbours plenty potential to forge a career elsewhere in Scotland.

Locke stated that all those whose contracts are running out still have something to play for. “No matter what, players are playing for their futures here or for their futures somewhere else. It’s important that they give it their all from now until the end of the season.

“I know the lads really well and no matter who plays, they will give it everything they have got. Hopefully that will be enough to get us some victories.”