Sergio parts company with Hearts

Hearts manager Paulo Sergio confirmed on Thursday that he has rejected a new contract and is leaving the Scottish Premier League club.

Sergio, who took over in August last year and led Hearts to Scottish Cup success in May, said he could not accept the offer made to him to stay.

"I deeply regret I will not continue my work at Hearts," said the 44-year-old Portuguese coach.

"I appreciate the road the club is now going down and respect what our board is doing. But I cannot accept the offer the club has made me.

"I want to say many thanks to everybody who worked with us, including our board, and special thanks to our supporters.

"I wish the very best to this great football club and I am now just one more Hearts supporter.

"I would also like to say thank you to all the players, who will be friends for life. And as for my future? Only God knows."

A statement on Hearts' website said: "The club had been hopeful recent negotiations with Sergio would have a successful conclusion but he has opted not to extend his stay at Tynecastle."

First-team coach Gary Locke will remain at the Edinburgh club which finished fifth in the league last season.