Hearts will not give up hope of persuading Arnaud Djoum to stay at Tynecastle Park beyond the summer. Management still believe that the Cameroonian midfielder could extend his contract, which is due to expire in May.
Djoum, 29, is weighing up his options ahead of signing potentially the last big contract of his career. The Hearts manager Craig Levein admitted last week that his club cannot afford the kind of money the player wants.
However, Djoum will continue to play during the second half of the season despite his contract running down. Levein told the Evening News that he will keep using him, form permitting, whilst trying to talk him into signing a new deal.
“I’m still hoping to convince Arnaud to stay,” said the manager. “As long as he is playing well, it would be silly not to put him on the field.
“He has been one of our most consistent players in recent months. I’m certainly not going to shoot myself in the foot by leaving him out when he is playing his best football for a wee while.”
Djoum joined Hearts in September 2015 as a free agent after leaving the Polish club Lech Poznan. He quickly established himself as a key player in midfield and became popular with supporters.
He helped the Edinburgh club finish third in the Ladbrokes Premiership that season, scoring five goals and providing six assists in 28 league appearances.
After making his international debut in 2016, Djoum became a national hero in his homeland by helping Cameroon win the 2017 African Cup of Nations.