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Berra Linked With Town Exit and Return to Hearts
Sunday, 15th Jan 2017 15:41

Town centre-half Christophe Berra could leave the Blues this month and return to his former club Hearts, according to a report in Scotland.

The Edinburgh Evening News reports that the Edinburgh club are keen to move for the 31-year-old if he is able to negotiate a settlement of the final six months of his Blues contract. Talks regarding a severance package are said to be under way.

Scotland international Berra began his career with hometown club Hearts before Town boss Mick McCarthy took the 6ft 1in tall defender to Wolves in February 2009 for a fee of £2.3 million, then signed him on a Bosman when Town manager in the summer of 2013.

Berra has been a regular throughout his time with the Blues and has made 166 starts and one sub appearance, scoring 13 times.

Speaking in September, Berra confirmed that he is looking to return home to Scotland at some stage, however, it would come as a surprise if he were to move on in January, particularly with Tommy Smith, Town’s only other senior left-sided centre-half, still a little way off a return following back surgery.

If Berra, who scored the second goal in yesterday’s 3-2 victory over Blackburn, does move on the Blues would certainly be looking for a replacement.

Meanwhile, The Sun reports that Town owner Marcus Evans is funding a “January spending spree” as he is concerned manager Mick McCarthy might move on at the end of the season and is hoping to convince him to stay.

Speaking yesterday, McCarthy said he had made a number of one million pound-plus offers for players but so far without being able to add to £10,000 recruit Kieffer Moore, whose signing from Forest Green Rovers was confirmed last night.

“We’ve had three or four one million pound-plus bids in for players, but they’ve all been kiboshed,” he said.

“We’re still working on them and trying to do them, but if they’re too expensive I can’t do owt about it.”

McCarthy is contracted to Town until the summer of 2018 with the club having an option for two more seasons.

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rendoblue added 15:47 - Jan 15
A good servant for town and although he has moments now where he gets caught out it will be a shame when he goes knowing that we will not go and purchase somebody of the same quality and experience for the money we like to spend. Smith and Webster will make a good partnership but we need better options in reserve than the likes of digby.

Kesgraveblue57 added 15:51 - Jan 15
It's come to a time of his life when he is just not good enough for the championship, the sooner he goes the better.

kingy4978 added 15:51 - Jan 15
So if true he wants a pay off to go back to Scotland which is his wish? That has got to be a joke. Cake and eat it comes to mind.

martin587 added 15:51 - Jan 15
Lets wait till it happens.Just might be a good move, then Chambers can move to CB and balance the back four up.!!

algarvefan added 15:51 - Jan 15
We got Chambo too!!

CavendishBlue added 15:53 - Jan 15
Call me old fashioned , but haven't we got an experienced CB playing out of position who looked rather more comfortable playing there yesterday?

12th_Man added 15:54 - Jan 15
Chambers at CB

GTRKing added 15:54 - Jan 15
Hope he don't leave....

If he dose we need to find a replacement now or we are screwed

theblueginger added 16:02 - Jan 15
Up until recently I would have said no to this. However recently mistakes have been creeping in, and If we are going to be playing 3 at the back, Chambers looks far more suitable for the role with Webster/Smith. Besides I can imagine him being a high earner.

Getting in a prem loan as cover would be fine with me. Or get a RB in and have Chambers/Smith/Webster/Digby as the 4 CB. My only caveat if we do let Berra go is signing Chambers up for a new contract ASAP, otherwise we could quickly be in trouble at the back. He should have been offered a new deal in the summer.

BlueMachines added 16:25 - Jan 15
The club don't need to sign Chambers to a new contract. They already have a further year option which they can evoke at any time before the end of the season. The fact that the fist pump returned suggests to me he isn't all that unhappy.

dirtydingusmagee added 16:28 - Jan 15
could be that recent mistakes and form is due to heart and mind being north of the border. He has been a good servant to the club but he is obviously unsettled now.If he does go [I suspect he will] good luck to him .

Seasider added 16:29 - Jan 15
Certainly Berra's heart doesn't seem to be in it like previously,hence recent mistakes.

Cant understand why Hearts cant just pay a transfer fee,he would then move up to Scotland,and start getting paid up there straight away;so why does Berra expect ITFC to pay up some of his contract as well;effectively paying double.Seems to want to have his cake and eat it(or should it be haggis)

geminimustang added 16:38 - Jan 15
He may not be trying to get a pay off in the way the article suggests.A lot of contracts have bonus based on appearances and targets.It could be that he's simply tying up loose ends allowing him the finance to relocate.He may have earned good money by most people's standards but a footballers earnings are short lived and have to last a long time after retirement from the game.Good luck to him,the move would suit both parties and allow ITFC money to finance the wages of an incoming player.The mood on this forum has dramatically improved since yesterday,long may that continue.

titanicclown added 16:43 - Jan 15
Been a brilliant player for us. Feelhes been unlucky recently with ever mistake he makes costing a goal. If he goes we should go for Jake Cooper at Reading - brilliant young left footed centre half.

christiand added 16:43 - Jan 15
If Smith was fit, I'd say yes good for all parties. Smith and Webster are the future, but they need to play. That's not ruling Chambers out either!

dalinghooblue added 16:43 - Jan 15
Why should we settle his contract? Let him go on a free and negotiate his own signing on fee or Hearts can buy him.

Mark added 16:43 - Jan 15
Berra has made a few mistakes recently, but he is still the strongest of our centre backs I think. I opened this article to read how much Hearts are offering us, but instead I read he is negotiating a severance package?! Given how difficult we find it to sign players, surely we should keep Berra until the summer at least, especially with Smith out at the moment.

Mick_Mills_Tache added 16:44 - Jan 15
I can't see us paying off the rest of his contract when it's what he wants...

He has three options in my eyes: 1) Hearts will have to make a bid for him and we accept or 2) we 'mutually' end his contract or 3) he waits until he is out of contract at the end of the season. As mentioned above, I'd rather the first (which would be unlikely) or the second. His head and heart aren't here anymore which could be why there's been three mistakes leading to goals in three matches. Been a stalwart for us and two years ago was the best defender in the league by a country mile. Thanks for everything Berra.

This would make Chambers happy as he'll more than likely return to CB which will either force Mick to carry on playing Emmanuel or for us to finally sign an actual RB!

ChrisFelix added 16:46 - Jan 15
Can't different class play centre back

BigHibbs added 16:47 - Jan 15
Anyone else think that Tommy is actually quicker and less error prone than him ? How many goals did we used to let in from corners when Tommy played ?

dukey44 added 16:49 - Jan 15
Simple answer to that is good let him go he's been tosh for a while now and being one of micks favs good job for Ipswich as then put chambers back in the middle

Brownie added 16:52 - Jan 15
He has been a great signing but his current form is poor. Errors at QPR, & v Lincoln & yesterday.

If he wants to go then let me himnwith best wishes. Opportunity for someone else.

More importantly like the bit about lots of £1m bids - is ME going to spend!


ShropshireBluenago09 added 16:55 - Jan 15
Good servant, but has been a bit of a liability this season

BotesdaleBlue added 16:56 - Jan 15
Why is it we so often over the years we end up having to pay players to leave us rather than receive a transfer fee, even a small one.

Berra as a proven player who has established himself in the first team is different to many of the previous players we have paid up (Henshall, Yorworth etc.), so why can't we hold out for a fee?

RYITFC added 17:15 - Jan 15
Am i reading this right, we're going to pay the remainder of a contract of a first team regular so he can have his move to Scotland who will then pay his wages again. If that's the case it absolute madness, if anything we should be asking for a fee from Hearts, Apologies if ive misunderstood but we do seem to have a history of paying people off, usually it's because they're surplus to requirements!

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