Hearts look to add central defender after injury to Christophe Berra

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Hearts plan to sign another centre-back following news that captain Christophe Berra is out injured for six months. The Edinburgh club will move into the transfer or loan market before the summer window closes at the end of this month.

With Peter Haring outstanding in midfield, only John Souttar and Aaron Hughes offer experienced cover in central defence in Berra’s absence. Hughes will be 39 in November and another body is required in that position in case of injury or suspension.

Hearts captain Christophe Berra lies in agony on the turf after tearing his hamstring against Celtic. The centre-half will not be seen again this year. Pic: SNS

Hearts captain Christophe Berra lies in agony on the turf after tearing his hamstring against Celtic. The centre-half will not be seen again this year. Pic: SNS

Scans revealed that captain Berra tore his hamstring on Saturday against Celtic after falling awkwardly inside his own penalty area before half-time.

His influence and experience will be missed, although there is no immediate rush to sign a replacement. Souttar and Hughes are ready to face Dunfermline in the Betfred Cup this weekend.

“It’s obviously a very big blow,” manager Craig Levein told the Hearts website when news of Berra’s injury emerged. “I’m gutted for Christophe. He’s really never been injured before and has played a number of years at the highest level, so it’s really bad luck.

“The reassuring thing is that this year we have squad depth and Aaron Hughes showed his quality when called upon against Celtic, so we have options going forward.”