Portugese defender Jose Goncalves has indicated that he is likely to look for a new club at the end of this season, when his contract runs out at Tynecastle.
Having arrived in January 2006 alongside 10 other newcomers of varied abilities during Graham Rix`s brief time “in charge”, it quickly became clear that Jose was actually one of the more talented footballers to have been identified by Vladimir Romanov. Despite being only 21 at the time, he showed considerable speed and presence until an unlucky injury in the Cup semi-final win against Hibs halted his progress.
When he became available again, the “silly season” had arrived at Tynecastle – with the Riccarton 3, Malofeev and various puppets causing maximum havoc with the team`s playing fortunes.
Jose spent last season on loan at FC Nuremberg in Germany, and has been one of our best performers during this season (not much competition for that accolade, mind you). In an Evening News interview, he said –
‘In January I will have been here four years, and have had a great time here and I’ve learned from a lot of different experiences. Hopefully at the end of the season, I will go with my head held high and I hope people will remember me for all the positive stuff I did for the club.
‘If I get the chance to go to another team in another country I will be happy. I hope the people here will understand my reasons for going. I’ve had four great years at Hearts and now I think it’s the time to go to get new motivation.
‘Four years is a long time at any football club. They have given me everything here and I learned a lot of good stuff.
‘I can only be happy at the way the club have treated me, the way the players have treated me and the way the fans have treated me. It’s only been positive stuff. I will always remember Hearts.’
‘At the moment I’m not thinking about talking to any team. You never know what happens during the winter but I would like to stay through the winter. It depends what the club is thinking. We will have to sit down but I want to stay until the end of the season.”
With his wage believed to be around £10,000 per week, no wonder he is happy at the way Hearts have treated him !! It`s possible that the club could choose to cash in on any fee being offered for him in January – although in the current economic climate, it`s unlikely that a guy with 6 months remaining on his contract would attract much of an offer.
Although he probably won`t make it into the Hall of Fame, his speed and ability to read the game are quite impressive. And of course, when it comes to shielding the ball as it runs out for a goal kick, Jose is a legend !!