MIGUEL PALLARDO will leave Hearts at the end of the season.
The Spanish midfielder has agreed to part company with the Edinburgh club when his contract expires in a few weeks time.
Officials at Tynecastle did not intend offering a new deal, whilst Pallardo wants to play more regularly than he has done this season. The player met his agent in Valencia two weeks ago to make his intentions clear. Subsequent talks with head coach Robbie Neilson resulted in a mutual agreement that Pallardo will move on. “I’ve spoken to Pallardo and he’s not going to be offered a new contract here,” Neilson confirmed. “He’s done really well for the last two years but we just feel that, with the way the club is going, he’s at an age now where he wants to play every single week. He hasn’t been playing recently and I don’t think he’d play every week next season. We came to a decision that it’s probably better he goes and plays first-team football every week. He’s 29 and he’s got to be playing. We understand that. He’s been great for us for the last two years so we just feel we have to take that next step again.”
Pallardo joined Hearts as a free agent in September 2014 and quickly became a central figure in the club’s charge to the Championship title. He found himself on the substitutes’ bench more this year, particularly after Don Cowie and Perry Kitchen arrived in February to compete for his position in central midfield.
Neilson paid tribute to the former Valencia, Getafe and Levante midfielder for his contribution over the last two seasons. “He’s been massive here, he’s been great to have about the place and he’s put in some great performances,” continued the head coach.
“He came here when we were in the Championship and he gave us solidity to help us win the title. He scored an important goal at Alloa, one of his only ones. This year, he’s been steady and reliable but he just hadn’t had enough game time to keep him happy. We feel it’s best for us all that he goes and plays first-team football somewhere.”
Meanwhile, goalkeeper Neil Alexander has all but agreed a new contract to continue as both a player and goalkeeping coach at Riccarton. “We’ve just about agreed things with Neilly, everything should be fine,” confirmed Neilson.