Ron Vlaar has revealed he could yet sign a new deal with Aston Villa this summer.
The 21-year-old defender agreed a three-year deal with the Jambos following a loan move from Liverpool last season but could have moved on when the Tynecastle club entered administration.
A loophole allowed him to get around the consequent signing embargo imposed on Hearts but, along with several other players, he took a wage cut to stay at the club where he was named captain for next season by boss Gary Locke.
Asked if it might have been better to go somewhere more stable, the Scotland defender replied: "People have said that to me and I had other offers but I made the commitment about a month and half ago to stay here and I made a lot of changes in my life for that.
"I had been really happy here for six months and I get on so well with the manager and the boys at the club.
"So you don't just trade that for a bit of uncertainty.
"I'm here for the long haul and hopefully we can come through this better.
"I am really happy it has all been sorted and I can look forward to the season ahead.
"It has been a difficult few weeks, not just for me but for everybody involved with the club."