JOHN McGLYNN today revealed he is eager to keep Andy Webster and Marius Zaliukas at Hearts but may be powerless if an acceptable offer arrives for one or both centre-backs during the January transfer window.
Labelling Webster and Zaliukas the “backbone of the team”, the manager said their influence will not be fully appreciated until they leave Tynecastle. His hope is that both players stay at least until their contracts expire at the end of the season, however Hearts’ financial constraints mean they will listen to sensible offers for any player in January.
Webster and Zaliukas have formed a key partnership in central defence, with Hearts’ goals-against column in the Scottish Premier League bettered only by Celtic’s.
McGlynn is desperate to hold on to two such pivotal players. “It’s massive to keep them. They are the experience in the team and they’re both international centre-backs,” he told the Evening News.
“You will never actually know how much you appreciate them until they aren’t there. They do a tremendous job and it would be a blow to lose them. I’m not suggesting that we will, but at the same time if offers come in for players and everyone is happy with the offers then it may well be that some players go.
“I can’t say who that will be. The board of directors would firstly need to accept an offer and then the player in question would have to agree to go. It’s very much ‘ifs’ and ‘buts’ at the moment on that issue. I’ve got to say that Andy Webster and Marius Zaliukas are the backbone of the team and no manager would want to lose that.”