Marian Kello dropped because he entered negotiations with English club

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MARIAN KELLO was dropped by Hearts yesterday because he has entered pre-contract negotiations with an unnamed English club, the Evening News can reveal.

Championship side Watford are especially keen to capture the Slovakian goalkeeper, who becomes a free agent in June when his Tynecastle contract expires. Watford’s league rivals Bristol City and Nottingham Forest are also pursuing his signature.

Kello’s desire is to continue his career in England and he may now have played his last game for Hearts. He warmed up for yesterday’s William Hill Scottish Cup 1-1 draw with St Johnstone but was not included in the matchday squad. Jamie MacDonald played in goal, with Mark Ridgers on the subs’ bench.

Kello, left, refused a move on deadline day to Austria Vienna last week, which also irked Hearts’ majority shareholder, Vladimir Romanov. He has instructed manager Paulo Sergio to use MacDonald and Ridgers until further notice after both goalkeepers recently signed new contracts with the Edinburgh club.

That leaves Kello frozen out of first-team affairs, with the Tynecastle board refusing to let him play. “There is an issue between him and our board, a political thing. It’s not up to me to explain that,” admitted Sergio.

“What was said was that, because Marian is not committed to the future with Hearts, we should play the others. It’s a tough situation and we will wait to see what happens between Marian and the board after they talk. It’s not a good thing for us.

“I explained why he is not in the team but, for the other explanations, it’s not up to me to give them.

“If the situation stays like it is now, I don’t believe he will be in the squad for Wednesday [against Celtic].”

When asked if he wanted to select Kello yesterday, Sergio simply replied: “Yes.”