With his contract expiring at the end of the season, Craig Levein admits that it would be expensive for Hearts to keep midfielder Arnaud Djoum.

As reported by the Daily Record, Levein revealed that their number 10 may well leave the club on a free transfer this summer.

EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - JULY 21: Arnaud Djoum of Hearts in action during the UEFA Europa League Second Qualifying Round: Second Leg between Hearts Football Club and Birkirkara at Tynecastle Stadium on July 21, 2016 in Edinburgh, Scotland. (Photo by Steve Welsh/Getty Images)

“Djoum might leave in the summer. He’s at an age where he wants to get one last big contract in his professional career,” the Hearts manager claimed.

“I understand that we can’t afford to pay him the sort of money that he’s looking for. But I see him still being here until the summer, for sure. You never know in football. I’d like him to stay longer but right at this minute in time I don’t think we can afford it.”

LIBREVILLE, GABON - FEBRUARY 05: Players of Cameroon celebrate during the awards ceremony after winning the final match in 2017 Africa Cup of Nations at the d'Angondje Stadium in Libreville, Gabon on February 05, 2017. (Photo by Fared Kotb/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

The Cameroonian signed for Hearts in September 2015. He arrived on a free transfer after leaving Polish side Lech Poznan earlier that year.

Djoum has got Hearts to thank for allowing him to be recognised at international level. The midfielder even picking up an African Cup of Nations winners medal with Cameroon in 2017.

Hearts would be sorry to see him go, particularly on a free transfer, following three years of service and racking up over a century of appearances.

SUNDERLAND, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 04:  Charlie Adam of Stoke (L) fires a free kick during the Checkatrade Trophy Northern Group A match between Sunderland and Stoke City U21 at Stadium of Light on September 4, 2018 in Sunderland, United Kingdom. (Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images)

After previously being linked with Stoke City midfielder Charlie Adam, could this signal the end of Djoum’s time at Tynecastle? The 33-year-old’s deal also expires at the end of the season but it appears the Potters would allow him to leave on a free transfer.

Whether that’s to the Scottish capital to join the Jambos remains to be seen.

Should Djoum depart, Levein may be ready to make a move.

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