CHRISTOPHE BERRA has been AXED by new boss Daniel Stendel – and the Hearts captain has been told to find a new club.
The Scotland international defender was stunned when he was given the news when the Edinburgh side returned to training after the New Year break.
Thirty-four-year-old Berra still has 18 months to run on the contract he signed under Craig Levein who was sacked earlier this season and eventually replaced by German coach Stendel.
Berra, as reported in the Scottish Sun, has been informed he is free to leave now, either on loan or on a permanent deal.
And the former first pick for Levein has been ordered to train with the club’s RESERVES at Riccarton.
TOO LATE…Christophe Berra fails to prevent Ryan Christie sweeping Celtic into the lead at Tynecastle last month.
Berra was a key man in the middle of the rearguard since the beginning of the campaign, especially when John Souttar was sidelined with an ankle injury. It meant the experienced campaigned teamed up with former Livingston centre-back Craig Halkett who joined in the summer.
The veteran, however, has very quickly fallen out of favour with the ex-Barnsley gaffer who was fired by the English Championship club last year.
He was demoted to the substitutes’ bench when the Gorgie outfit drew with Aberdeen in their final encounter before the winter break.
And Stendel, speaking recently about defensive colleague Aaron Hickey, appeared to hint his days were numbered.
He said: “I think, when Aaron gets some players next to him who can help him, he can improve so much more.”
Stendel has already ditched Republic of Ireland international Glenn Whelan – who was released early from his contract – as he takes drastic measures in an attempt to get the team off the foot of the Premiership.