HITC Sport understands Hearts have opened talks with former Ipswich man.

Ipswich’s Christophe Berra celebrates scoring with teammates

Hearts have held talks with former Ipswich Town defender Christophe Berra about rejoining the club, HITC Sport understands from sources close to the club.

Ipswich revealed earlier on Tuesday that Berra was to leave the club when his contract expires in the summer after four years at Portman Road.

Ipswich had the option to extend Berra’s deal for a further 12 months, but agreed not to take it up to allow him to return closer to Scotland for family reasons.

Christophe Berra in action for Scotland

Hearts and Rangers have expressed an interest in the Scotland international, but Hearts have emerged as favourites to land the central defender.

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HITC Sport understands Berra travelled to Edinburgh on Tuesday to hold talks with Hearts officials over a possible return to Tynecastle, but that the defender will not make a decision on his future until after a family holiday.

Beating Rangers to Berra would be a massive coup for Hearts as they look to improve next season and challenge for a top three finish.

Berra came through the Hearts youth ranks and captained the club before moving to England with Wolverhampton Wanderers in 2009.

In other news, Report: Leeds and Newcastle in talks to sign 21-year-old who once left Jürgen Klopp furious