Christophe Berra: Captain 'hurt and angry' at having no future at Hearts

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Watch: 'I got married on Friday... Sunday, I'm training with the fitness coach'

Captain Christophe Berra says he is "hurt and angry" after being told he can leave Hearts and instructed to train with the reserves.

The 34-year-old centre-back had been a regular this season until being dropped by new manager Daniel Stendel for the draw with Aberdeen on 29 December.

Berra still has 18 months left on the contract he signed under Craig Levein in summer 2018 but will be allowed to depart either on loan or permanently.

"It came out the blue," Berra said.

"I just got married on Friday and then on Sunday I'm getting told I'm not involved any more.

"Sometimes there's ways to go about it and sometimes with a bit of respect and a bit of morals, but it wasn't done like that."

Berra insists he is not a "bad egg" in the dressing room and believes Stendel could have handled the situation better.

"It did hurt, I'm not going to lie," he said. "I've done a lot for this club. I know it's football, I know how it works, but I don't think anyone represents the club better than me.

"It's one man's opinion. There are other ways to go about it, but I'm not going to throw the toys out the pram."

Former Scotland defender Berra has played 25 times in all competitions this term.

He has made more than 200 appearances for Hearts in two spells, his second coming after stints in England with Wolverhampton Wanderers and Ipswich Town.

The defender, who has 41 caps and four goals for Scotland, is unclear whether the decision was financially motivated.

"I asked that question to the manager but haven't got a straightforward answer," he said.

"He'll say it's football reasons, it's up to him, but you'll never know the truth. It might be for financial reasons and they want to bring players in."

Berra's banishment comes with midfielder Glenn Whelan, 35, having been released from his contract on Tuesday as Stendel begins reshaping the squad of the Scottish Premiership's bottom club.

The club captain does not know what his next move will be but has "no hard feelings" with Hearts owner Ann Budge.

"I'm a Hearts a supporter and I've always represented this club in the best manner and I always will," he said. "I've still got 18 months of my contract, but I'm not one to sit about. I couldn't do that. I want to keep on playing.

"I'm still one of the fittest here, never miss training, never miss games and I still think I've got something to give."

'It will be difficult to handle' - analysis

Former Hearts midfielder Michael Stewart

When you are telling the club captain he is free to go, there is a certain level of respect that's due.

I would like to think Daniel Stendel has been in the building long enough to realise the type of person that Christophe Berra is - just tell him. If you say to him 'I'm wanting to play this style of football, you're at a stage of your career when I don't think you're capable of doing it, I need to free up money in the wage bill to bring in other players', he might not agree with it, but he's going to understand it.

I would imagine Christophe will be desirable to someone. At this stage of your career, it's not just about professionally what clubs you want to go to, but it's a personal thing - I imagine he doesn't want to move geographically, which limits the clubs and are any of the clubs close geographically interested? It may be very difficult to marry all that and for him to move on.

At the moment, it is very raw for Christophe, but after a period of reflection and, if he's away playing somewhere else, he will be a lot more comfortable about what's happened.

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