|Jim Jefferies hopes the intervention of former Tynecastle favourite, tuned agent, John Colquhoun will help sort out the protracted contract negotiations between club captain Marius Zaliukas and owner Vladimir Romanov. Jefferies has revealed that Zaliukas is again unavailable for today's game against Aberdeen due to the continuing saga. Zaliukas has not played since a 4-0 win over Hamilton on 21 August as Romanov demands he signs a contract with Hearts, with his loan deal and Kaunas' terms due to end in December. Both sides of the table were some way apart when they began contract talks more than six weeks ago but Jefferies believes the advice of Colquhoun could help Zaliukas reach an agreement. Zaliukas flew to Lithuania this week for more talks and Jefferies hopes there is light at the end of the tunnel.
Jefferies said: "John has said to him 'this is the real world' and helped him get a better negotiating position with the club. It's like all players, Marius has been taking advice. I don't think he had anyone acting for him before. He asked for John's advice. John's got plenty of experience and he has had a word with him and he's dealt with it really well. The situation has not changed. We'll just have to wait. He is training and keeping his match-fitness up. He didn't play in the bounce game we had against Hamilton on Tuesday because he was heading back for talks. I think the players would look forward to getting it resolved just like we all are. He's a very good player, that's why we made him captain. We hope he wants to stay here. If it is sorted out this week or next week, the sooner the better."