HEARTS midfielder Miguel Pallardo wants to stay at Tynecastle and sign a new contract.
The Spaniard is keen to pledge his future to the Edinburgh club but must wait until a new deal is put in front of him. His current agreement is due to expire in June. Pallardo has developed into a popular figure with Hearts supporters since arriving as a free agent in September 2014. He is in his second season in Scotland and explained today that he wants to extend his stay further.
“It’s not my decision, it’s the club and me,” he told the Evening News. “I want to stay here because it’s good for me and my family in Scotland. I feel happy here so I want to stay. When time passes we can maybe speak. For now, the team needs to win games to stay in the top six and afterwards, maybe we can be in second or third position.”
Feedback from Hearts director of football Craig Levein and head coach Robbie Neilson has been positive. Pallardo admits he must stay patient to learn if he will be part of the club’s long-term plans.
“When I speak with them, they say they are happy with me and with my work. It’s a question of time, if I sign a new deal or don’t sign. At the moment, the important thing is the league and trying to win games.”
The 29-year-old also spoke for the first time about being one of 42 players implicated in match-fixing allegations in Spain in December 2014. He insisted he is innocent and had no part in the scandal surrounding the La Liga match between Levante and Real Zaragoza on May 21, 2011. Pallardo was on loan to Levante from Getafe at the time.
Spanish prosecutors claim almost one million Euros was paid to Zaragoza players, who then passed money on to Levante players and officials to throw the match.
Zaragoza required a win to avoid relegation and secured a 2-1 victory. Also named in the allegations were Gabi, the Atletico Madrid captain, plus Manchester United’s Ander Herrera, former Celtic midfielder Jiri Jarosik and Swansea’s Jefferson Montero.
“I’m quiet and I have a clear conscience,” stressed Pallardo. “I did nothing so this was a question at the time when the newspaper wrote the news.
“Sometimes you think about it but it wasn’t a problem for me because it wasn’t true.
“I told Robbie and Craig that I did nothing so it wasn’t a problem.”
Asked if he was worried about the allegations affecting his reputation back home, he replied: “Yes, maybe. People read the news and they believe what they read. When everything is revealed, they change their opinion.”
The case is ongoing with a Spanish judge expected to decide later this year whether to proceed to a trial.