Hearts captain Christophe Berra has been given permission to talk to Wolves and will travel to Molineux this morning, which means the Scotland international may already have played his last game for the Jambos.
Berra, a product of the Hearts youth academy, made his debut as a substitute in a 2-1 defeat to Dundee United in 2003 and made his first start in a 1-1 draw away to Kilmarnock at Rugby Park in March 2004. It wasn’t until after the infamous ‘Riccarton Three’ incident in 2006, that culminated in the then club-captain Steven Pressley leaving, that Berra finally got his chance to establish himself as a first team regular.
After the transfer of Craig Gordon to Sunderland at the start of the 2007-08 season, Berra was made club-captain and led the side through one of its most difficult season in recent years. The side finished outside the top six for the first time since the split began but this was as much due to the turmoil off the field as on it.
Since the appointment of Csaba Laszlo Berra has flourished, becoming much more of leader on the park and more willing to get his foot on the ball and drive forward. His recent form has rightfully attracted interest from some top clubs south of the border although it looks as though he may have to win promotion with Wolves to fulfil his ambition of playing in the Premiership.
Berra has made three substitute appearances for Scotland, all coming last year.
Maybe I’m being a bit premature but I would be surprised if Berra failed to agree terms with Wolves, although I suppose it is possible another one of his admirers could step in to highjack the move. Wolves’ recent bid of £2m was rejected in an “unethical” manner, according to Mick McCarthy, as Hearts held out for £3m. No information has been given as to the amount the clubs have agreed on but I wouldn’t be surprised if it turns out to be an initial fee of £2-£2.5m with a further £500k-1m to be added should Wolves make it to the Premiership.
We were under no illusion that we needed to sell to balance the books, never mind sign anyone for ourselves, but we now have two days to replace Berra and/or sign that much needed striker.