Troubled Hearts have rejected a takeover offer from the former owner of Livingston, believing Italian businessman Angelo Massone "may not be the right person to take the club forward".
Despite repelling Massone's approach, majority shareholder Vladimir Romanov is prepared to discuss selling Hearts after first investing in the SPL club in 2005.
A statement on Hearts' official website, www.heartsfc.co.uk, read: "Heart of Midlothian FC can today reveal that it has rejected a bid from businessman Angelo Massone to buy the club.
"The offer was received last week but the board feels the Italian may not be the right person to take the club forward."
Massone had a controversial 12-month spell in charge at Livingston from June 2008, which saw the West Lothian club placed into administration and subsequently expelled from the Scottish Football League's First Division to the bottom tier.
Hearts made reference to his previous involvement with Livingston in announcing his bid, reportedly worth £4.5m (€5.6m), had been rejected.
A Hearts spokesperson said: "We received an offer from Mr Massone but it has been rejected.
"We are aware of Mr Massone's previous involvement in the game in Scotland and the board has decided not to pursue his offer any further.
"In the view of the board, the bid he made also undervalued the club.
"Vladimir Romanov remains willing to discuss the sale of Hearts to anyone with a genuine interest, and ability, to take the club forward.
"Bidders will need to provide a financial offer to reflect the value of the club, be fit to run it as required by the Scottish FA and disclose their plans going forward.
"They will also have to provide guarantees for Hearts' future to ensure the successful duration of the business of the club."
It was the second disclosed offer for the William Hill Scottish Cup winners in the last week.