Levein braced to lose Arnaud Djoum in the summer
Cameroon midfielder pricing himself out of an extended stay at Tynecastle according to manager.
Hearts are unlikely to keep Arnaud Djoum beyond the end of the season, manager Craig Levein has revealed.
The Cameroon international is out of contract in June after nearly four years at Tynecastle.
Djoum has been hampered by injuries in the past 18 months but has been back to some of his best form of late since returning to fitness, playing 20 first-team games and scoring three goals.
Levein said the player's desire to win a big contract while in the peak of his career means Djoum is pricing himself out of an extended stay in Edinburgh.
Speaking to STV from the Hearts winter training camp south of Murcia in Spain, Levein said: "[Djoum] might leave in the summer.
"He's at an age where he wants to get one last big contract in his professional career.
"I understand that we can't afford to pay him the sort of money that he's looking for.
"But I see him still being here until the summer, for sure.
"You never know in football. I'd like him to stay longer but right at this minute in time I don't think we can afford it."
Hearts are joined by new signings David Vanecek and Conor Shaughnessy in Spain, although Peter Haring has remained at home to recover from a double hernia operation.
The Austrian midfielder has been playing through the pain for Hearts in the first half of the season and is likely to be out for four weeks.
Meanwhile, Levein hit out at the alleged threats made to referee John Beaton in the wake of his officiating of the Old Firm derby match at the end of December.
Beaton was given a police escort to his next match after receiving threatening messages.
Levein said: "There's the competitive side of the game and as managers we always want our sides to win.
"You're representing the supporters and they are passionate about winning as well.
"But there are always some idiots who overstep the mark and that is what has happened here.
"There is just no accounting sometimes for the behaviour of people and it has been disgraceful what has happened."
A meeting is planned between the Scottish FA, clubs and referees after a period where officials have come in for sharp criticism from a number of clubs.
Levein added: "Hopefully we can get some common sense from that and look at a way forward."