Don Cowie has been told he can leave Hearts if he wishes to move on in search of more regular game time.
Following an extensive summer recruitment drive, in which manager Craig Levein has signed several midfielders, the 35-year-old has slipped down the pecking order and is unlikely to feature as often as he has done in the past two seasons.
Ross County, where Cowie started his career, are among a host of clubs keen to sign the former Scotland midfielder if he decides his future lies elsewhere.
The former Inverness, Watford and Cardiff City player has been a regular starter whenever fit since arriving from Wigan Athletic two and a half years and has performed the role of deputy captain for most of his time with the Edinburgh club.
The veteran is contracted to Hearts until next summer after signing a new deal a year ago but, after five goals in 84 appearances (72 as a starter), he could be on his way out of Tynecastle in the coming weeks.
Ross Callachan is on the lookout for a new club, while Conor Sammon, Euan Henderson and Andy Irving have been loaned out to Motherwell, Montrose and Falkirk respectively as Levein continues streamlining his squad following the recruitment of 13 new players this summer.