Ian Cathro insists Christophe Berra is the first component of a new Hearts team he is building for next season.
The Scotland defender returned to Tynecastle on a three-year deal and was immediately handed the captain’s armband.
Several additional signings will follow over the coming weeks as Cathro rebuilds following a poor second half of last season, which saw the Edinburgh club win only six of 26 matches.
“This is the start of the building of the new team and we’re serious,” said the head coach. “We have to continue doing our work but we’re very serious about what we intend on doing.
“We have a better understanding of exactly what we have to bring and how we have to address the re-balance of the team.
“So we’re in a more informed position. This is just the first step, a very important step, and I’m delighted Christophe is here. It’s important that we’re able to bring the level of player that he is to the club. He’s a player who is completely ready in his stage of life. He’s already been through countless experiences. He’s ready to be a key part and one of the leaders inside what I would call a new team for the next step in the club’s development.”