Marius Zaliukas has pleaded with manager Jim Jefferies not to drop him as Hearts captain despite his long-term future still being undecided.
The 26-year-old replaced Michael Stewart as skipper towards the end of last term and the centre-back is hopeful of leading the Jambos into the new SPL season but Jefferies wants Zaliukas to negotiate a new deal before anything is decided.
The Lithuanian has intimated his desire to stay at Tynecastle despite his current loan deal from Kaunas expiring in December.
Zaliukas told the Daily Record: "I would like to continue as captain but there are a couple of circumstances I don't really want to talk about right now.
"It was a good feeling to be captain of Hearts. It gave me a lot more confidence for my personal game and I was able to talk to the younger boys more.
"I am looking forward to continuing that. But I understand the manager's situation. Obviously the captain should be someone who has a long-term contract.
"Now I have to see what the club are thinking. My contract with Kaunas has one season left and my loan at Hearts is up in December. There will probably be a meeting soon and then we will see."
Jefferies is expected to rotate the captaincy during the club's pre-season programme which includes games against Wolves and Blackburn on 3rd and 7th August respectively.
"If there is uncertainty over my situation I would understand the manager's decision," added Zaliukas. "I don't see any problems with me staying here. I would like to be here.
"I am settled here now, I have been here four years now, I know everyone, and everyone knows me. So everything is easier."