HEARTS director Sergejus Fedotovas revealed today that the Tynecastle board remain committed to keeping manager Paulo Sergio, but may not announce a decision on his future until next month.
Speaking exclusively to the Evening News, Fedotovas insisted that talks over a contract extension are ongoing with the 44-year-old Portuguese. He stressed that the Hearts hierarchy are eager to find a solution to extend their manager’s stay in Edinburgh.
Sergio is out of contract at the end of the season and Fedotovas is helping negotiate new deals on behalf of Vladimir Romanov, Hearts’ majority shareholder. He outlined the desire within the boardroom to retain Sergio’s services, although a final decision on the matter may not be possible until June.
“We are having discussions at the moment,” said Fedotovas. “We are in the midst of going through a number of things, reviewing our budget and speaking to Paulo Sergio. We are looking at options, looking at what are his preferences and trying to find the best solution. It is a work in progress.
“We are really keen to find a solution and to find a deal. It’s about timing. We have discussed that, in his interests and in our interests, it is some time in June that we need to take a final decision. That is the time when it is important for both parties to come to some sort of solution.”
Fedotovas spoke after Sergio appeared to question whether he was wanted by the Hearts board. Asked about his future next season, the manager said: “I don’t know. Maybe they (directors) don’t want me too much.”
Speaking at the Clydesdale Bank Awards dinner earlier this week, Sergio went on to thank those who have made him feel welcome in Scotland. “I would like to thank the Scottish people for making me welcome in the country and say a thankyou to the Scottish coaches and players,” he said.
“This is a good country and I have been made welcome here. Tonight I even shook hands with Kenny Shiels.”