Daniel Stendel reveals Ann Budge talks before he axed Hearts captain Christophe Berra

Manager consulted owner on decision over skipper

Thursday, 16th January 2020, 10:30 pm
Updated Friday, 17th January 2020, 8:45 am
Hearts manager Daniel Stendel and owner Ann Budge spoke about Christophe Berra

Hearts manager Daniel Stendel revealed that he consulted owner Ann Budge before telling captain Christophe Berra to find a new club.

The German said he held talks with Budge on the subject and that he wants Berra to decide where his future lies.

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The 34-year-old defender was told at the start of last week that he is surplus to requirements under Stendel. He is now seeking a move before the transfer window closes at the end of the month.

"I spoke with Christophe to explain our feeling, that it would be difficult for him to play as many games as he expected," said the manager. "He is the skipper of the team and I wanted to give him the chance to think about the situation, what he wants.

"He’s done so much for this club that I don’t want him to not be in the squad at the weekend – and everyone is asking why not. I want that he can decide what he wants.

"He wants to play but the chance is not so high that he will play for us in the second half of the season. I think that he’s not happy. That’s normal, but I can only say that we tried to give him respect.

"I had a long talk with Ann before we made the decision. It wasn’t so easy. From our side, we want to get the best solution for both sides."

Hearts officials have contacted a number of clubs in an attempt to help Berra get a move quickly. Asked why the Scotland internationalist is now training with the reserves at Riccarton, Stendel gave a frank explanation.

"When you say 'you don't play more and you're no longer the skipper' this is the situation," he replied. "If your boss says you no longer work but you're next to those who are, it's no good for either. We haven't said he needed to train with the reserves - he wanted to train with the reserves. We want to find the best solution.

"We have 12 days but at the moment I have no news from him, whether he wants to stay or play for another club. In the end, this isn't my job. I've had a talk with him but he will decide with the club."