Date: 26th January 2009 at 12:49pm
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Hearts captain Christophe Berra has given his clearest hint yet that he fully intends to leave the club as and when the opportunity arises for him to move onto bigger and better places.

Speculation on Berra’s future has been rife for most of the season, but since we got into January it’s been reaching fever pitch levels as club after club have been linked with the player. There has been very little in the way of quotes from anyone actually confirming any of these rumours, though, but now Berra himself has spoken of his intention to play his football at the highest level that he possible can. He told the Evening News:

‘I’ve never hidden the fact that I have aspirations to go and play at the highest level. If an opportunity did come, I’d like to think the club would give me that chance.

‘The SPL is a good league, Hearts are a great club, a big club, but there are bigger clubs and bigger leagues in the world.

‘If you want to prove yourself against the best you’ve got to take that chance. If it did come up I would like to go. There’s a week to go in the transfer window but it’s not down to me really. There’s a lot of speculation. It depends if a club makes a bid for me and whether it gets accepted. If it does, we’ll see what happens.

‘At the moment I’m at Hearts and I’m still giving 110 per cent. I still want to improve. I’ll be glad when the window closes to be honest because I’ll know where I am, whether I’m still here or away.

‘If I’m still here it won’t affect me one little bit, I’ll still give 110 per cent for this club and for the manager. It’s not in my hands, it’s down to people at other clubs if they want to make an offer and Mr Romanov if he accepts.

‘There has been lots of speculation about me and I’ve dealt with it fine. I’ve had harder circumstances to deal with in the past because there have been a lot of ups and downs here in recent seasons. I think I’ve come through it with my head held high.’

I do too. Berra is most definitely a player who has had to slowly win the majority of the fans over after the more than slightly premature decision to award him the club captaincy. This was an exceptionally difficult position to put such an inexperienced lad into by a regime seemingly intent on making things as difficult as possible for themselves, but the player has responded superbly this season after an initially uncomfortable period when his own personal form suffered considerably.

The fact that Berra will now be unanimously viewed as a loss if and when he does leave Hearts shows how much he’s come on this season, as if most of us were offered anything like the £3million being talked about for his services back in the summer, then I reckon people would have gleefully taken it. He has developed a lot as a central defender and as a player who can lead by example this season, and although I don’t think he’s quite in the ‘irreplaceable’ category, Csaba and co will definitely have a gap to fill when he does leave.

I suppose the only question now is when Berra will go. It would be nice if he could hang around until the end of the season, as there’s a genuine chance for Hearts to achieve something this season, whether that be a high league position or success in the Scottish Cup, or perhaps even both. He is definitely the sort of guy who could help us to achieve these goals, but I suppose a lot of it will come down to which clubs decide to come in with offers of the required amount in time, if indeed any will before the end of the season.

Let’s hope we can get at least another few months out of the skipper….


3 Replies to “Berra Hints At Hearts Exit”

  • I’ve absolutely no problem with any player leaving to better themselves but the important issue is how and when they leave and have we maximised their contribution to the club and the money we could receive. I think that Berra’s rise to prominence this year has been quite staggering and I would commend him and, presumably, Laszlo too. I would syggest that he definitely needs to stay here for a further full season (at least) thereafter all being well his transfer will be to bigger clubs than are being mentioned at the moment. I know we have to operate within our own market but even now I would suggest that if he was in a Championship club and an EPL clubs wanted him he’d be going for more than £3m – we shouldn’t sell ourselves short. Bottom line is that we need him just now so I hope he goes nowhere in the short to medium future.

  • Csaba has said he has already agreed a fee for another young central defender who can “replace Berra”, he has said he will move instantly for this player if Berra goes, so if he’s going I’d rather he goes now so we have time to get this guy in whoever he is. Rather than Berra leaving at 11.59 on the 2nd of Feb and leaving us in the lurch.

  • Yes, thats a risk DT – last minute (literally) sale can cause havoc. We may not have enough time to bring the replacement in… or else we splash out money to buy a guy at 11.59 only to find that Berra’s registration didn’t go through in time, meaning that we’re further in debt with a new player we don’t need yet !! I’d prefer to see Berra stay for at least another 6 months. I’m sure his value will increase – although whether clubs will have any money at all in 6 months time is open to question !!

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