Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy says rumours of Christophe Berra joining Hearts are ‘ridiculous’

Ipswich Town defender Christophe Berra remonstrates with the referee at Birmingham.

Ipswich Town defender Christophe Berra remonstrates with the referee at Birmingham.

Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy says yesterday’s Scottish report claiming defender Christophe Berra could leave Portman Road and rejoin his old club Hearts this month is ‘just ridiculous’.

The Edinburgh Evening News yesterday reported that Berra, 31, was in the process of negotiating a settlement of the final six months of his contract with the Blues and would subsequently be set for a return to Tyncastle.

Berra revealed last September that he would like to return to his native Edinburgh, saying: “I’ve had a great time down here and as I’ve said before my daughter is four and at some point I’d want to go back home.”

When asked about the reports, McCarthy said: “That is just ridiculous. Have you seen how many players we’ve had recently, the squad and the substitutes we’ve had? And I would be settling up Christophe Berra’s contract, who has played every single game? I don’t think so.

“How ridiculous that rumour is. There are rumours that might be close to the truth, but that’s as far away from the truth as you can get. It’s nuts.”

Asked about Berra potentially going back to Scotland, he joked: “He’s not heading back now, he’s got eight weeks off in the summer, he can do what he wants then!

“We’ve got an option on him (to activate a clause in his contract for another 12 months). He’s our player for the next 18 months if that’s what we want to do.

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“I can’t see any reason why I wouldn’t want to keep Christophe Berra, he’s been different class, he’s arguably been our best defender for the last four years.

“He’s certainly been one of the top ones and has consistently played. He’s staying here as far as I’m concerned.”

Having signed striker Kieffer Moore from Forest Green Rovers on Saturday, McCarthy says he’s no nearer making a further addition to his squad.

“No, and nothing could be done between now and tomorrow which could affect tomorrow’s game (FA Cup replay at Lincoln) anyway, so it would be for the weekend,” he added. “We’re still trying and still getting negatives at the moment.”