HEARTS will hold defining talks with Blazej Augustyn next week to determine whether the Polish defender stays at Tynecastle.
He is out of contract at the end of the season and has yet to be offered a new deal.
Head coach Robbie Neilson plans to speak to the 28-year-old to ascertain whether he is willing to stay on. The outcome may depend on whether Augustyn will accept a role as third-choice centre-back behind Alim Ozturk and John Souttar.
Souttar’s form since arriving from Dundee United in February has been very consistent, and Augustyn has been forced on to the substitutes’ bench as a result. Souttar and Ozturk are expected to be Hearts’ first-choice pairing in central defence next season.
“I’m going to speak to Augustyn, probably in the middle of next week,” Neilson explained. “We’ll have a chat with him and see what he thinks about things and what I think for next season.
“John Souttar has come in and done really well. I expected John to come in and be six months or even a year away from being ready to play consistently in the first team. He’s proved he’s well ahead of that, which has limited Blazej’s game time.
“You need numbers, though. You can’t just run through a season with two or three centre-halves. We’ll have a chat about my thoughts and his thoughts, where I see him and where he sees himself. Then we’ll take it from there.”