CRAIG BEATTIE has urged Hearts owner Vladimir Romanov to deal gaffer Paulo Sergio in with a new deal at Tynecastle following their William Hill Scottish Cup triumph.
The former Celtic striker, whose own future is uncertain with his current short-term deal with the Jambos now ending, believes that Sergio's 5-1 success over Hibs should be rewarded with a new contract.
Beattie, whose penalty kick against former side Celtic sealed Hearts' place in the final, said: "Paulo Sergio has done a tremendous job in difficult circumstances this term and he deserves a lot of credit for the cup success.
"We know his future is uncertain and that he will meet with Mr Romanov over the next few days, but Paulo deserves a new deal of that there is no doubt.
"No-one knows what will happen with Rangers next season but they are unlikely to be as strong as they have been under the sanctions that are being imposed against them.
"If Paulo stays on and is given some backing to sign decent players and keep some of the boys in the squad, I see no reason why we can't challenge for Europe.
Speaking about his own future, he added: "I am not sure what will happen for me now. Obviously a few of the boys are moving on and I guess it is up to the club to let me know if I am in their thoughts."
Sergio, meanwhile, expressed unhappiness with the silence over his future and, with no offer forthcoming from Hearts owner Vladimir Romanov and the club's board, he is poised to return home to Portugal to await developments.
He said: "Everybody knows I would like to stay but, until this moment, I don't have anything.
"I'm not happy with this situation. I'm happy with our supporters, with our players, with all we did together, but I think in a moment like this that things should be more clear."
On Hearts' website, Romanov said: "Let me congratulate all the supporters of the club and people of Edinburgh.
"Hearts has got the best answer to all the lies and injustice we have faced."