Hearts let Lithuanians leave

Hearts have begun a clear-out of their squad with five Lithuanian players expected to leave.

Hearts have begun a clear-out of their squad with five Lithuanian players expected to leave.

Last season’s top goalscorer Andrius Velicka has joined midfielder Linas Pilibaitis and goalkeeper Eduardas Kurskis in returning to FBK Kaunas.

Kestutis Ivaskevicius and Tomas Kancelskis look set to follow their fellow countrymen out of the exit door later in the week, and the quintet may not return.

The news comes of the same day goalkeeper Craig Gordon was given permission to travel to England to hold talks with clubs, reported to be Sunderland and Aston Villa, about a lucrative move to the Barclays Premier League.

Speaking ahead of tonight’s Clydesdale Bank Premier League opener against derby rivals Hibernian, Hearts assistant coach Stephen Frail told the Edinburgh Evening News: “None of them are available for selection tonight.

“Velicka flew home yesterday and Pilibaitis and Kurskis have already gone.

“I’m not sure whether they’ll be back. Kancelskis and Ivaskevicius trained over the weekend, but won’t play tonight, so we’ll see what happens with them.”

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