Hearts manager Jim Jefferies insists Michael Stewart will not necessarily be leaving the club this summer despite stripping him of the captaincy.
Stewart is out of contract in the summer and Jefferies has already decided to hand the captain's armband to Marius Zaliukas next season.
That has led to fierce speculation that the 29-year-old former Hibs man will be let go come the end of the SPL season.
However, Jefferies insists no decisions have been made on futures and that he is simply planning ahead for the 2010/11 campaign.
"Nobody at this club has said it's his last game or not," Jefferies told the club's official website.
"There has been plenty of people making comments that changes have to be made. But we will decide what happens.
"If a manager feels someone is the right person for the captaincy then so be it and rightly so. But that doesn't mean to say the next manager feels the same.
"I might feel differently next year. I'm looking for contenders for the captaincy and don't think there is anything wrong with that.
"It's just me looking ahead to next season and has nothing to do with what has gone at this club as I haven't had any problems with anybody.
"Next season is a fresh one for us. I have got to decide who will be captain next season based on what I have seen in my time here.
"The one big thing about coming in here as I have said, is that it gave me the chance to look at people, not just on the playing side but their characters."
Jefferies will wait until the end of the season to sit down with the club's out of contract players, although he has already held talks with Jose Goncalves.
"The only person I have spoken to about contracts for next season is Jose Goncalves," he added.
"I will speak to everyone else at the end of the season, as I have said previously."