Hearts have first option to resign Stephen Elliott

HEARTS have first option to re-sign striker Stephen Elliott for next season but must invoke a clause in the player’s contract by the end of May.

Tuesday, 3rd April 2012, 1:14 pm

The Evening News has learned that the two-year deal signed by the Irishman in August 2010 includes a first-option clause allowing Hearts to extend the agreement by a further 12 months. To do so, the Edinburgh club must offer Elliott a new contract before the start of June.

Talks between Tynecastle officials and Elliott’s representatives are due towards the end of the month or early next month at the latest in an effort to determine where his future lies. Hearts will allow several high-earning players to leave this summer when their contracts expire. Elliott wants to stay and it is understood he would be willing to sign an extension provided terms can be agreed.

Hearts have intimated privately that they are keen to retain the 28-year-old, who moved to Scotland from Preston North End two years ago after negotiating an early termination of his contract at Deepdale.

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Meanwhile, midfielder Ian Black is hoping his season will be extended by a Scotland call-up for the May 26 friendly against the US. Black’s form has been outstanding recently, prompting talk of international recognition.

“It’s flattering to hear that sort of talk, everybody who has played football wants to represent their country,” he said.