Glenn Whelan's Hearts future in doubt after Edinburgh derby absence
Irish midfielder was left out of the squad against Hibs
Glenn Whelan's Hearts future is in doubt after the Irishman was left out of the Boxing Day Edinburgh derby defeat against Hibs at Tynecastle Park.
Manager Daniel Stendel omitted Whelan from his 18-man squad and the player was not seen at the game, which Hibs won 2-0 thanks to Martin Boyle's two goals. Whelan's contract runs until the end of the season but his absence has fuelled suggestions he may now leave the club early.
The 35-year-old midfielder has made 17 appearances for Hearts since arriving in August, although he is unhappy with the club's position at the bottom of the Ladbrokes Premiership after a wretched season.
Stendel started Whelan and kept him on the field for the full 90 minutes of Hearts' 2-1 defeat at Hamilton last weekend. The manager then headed home to Germany to attend to personal business and returned to Edinburgh the day before the derby.
Whelan was understood to be fit to play against Hibs but was not selected.
Hearts plan to rejig their squad during the January transfer window and will hope to move some players out if they can find new clubs. Whelan's one-year deal could therefore be cut short unless he can somehow find his way back into favour.