Hearts hold Skacel hope

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Current Hearts manager Valdas Ivanauskas has played down reports of Premiership interest for star Rudolf Skacel.

Skacel's agent Pavel Zika ha confirmed the interest from south of the border, and Chris Coleman's Fulham are one of those sides.

But Hearts boss Valdas Ivanauskas has played down the speculation and believes Skacel, who is currently on loan from Marseille, will stay in Scotland.

"I talked to Rudi this week," Ivanauskas told The Daily Record. "We shared our opinions and I told him he is very important for us.

"Will he stay for next season? I am optimistic about that," he said.

Zika, Skacel's agent, told CTK: "Ruda is fully concentrated on his Hearts duties and helping them to finish second in the SPL.

"But we will reassess the options after the end of the season," he said.

Skacel is currently second in the league's top scorers list with 16 goals, one behind the leader, Celtic's John Hartson.