Glenn Whelan has been released by Hearts after just four months and is now a free agent.

The Republic of Ireland midfielder made 17 appearances for the club.

In a brief statement, Hearts said they wish Whelan well in the future.

Daniel Stendel took over the hotseat at the Scottish Premiership's bottom club earlier this month and selected the Irish veteran for his first three games in charge.

However, the 35-year-old did not feature in the St Stephen's day derby defeat to Hibs and Stendel singled him out for a lack of leadership.

He said: "I can say he is a good type. He wants to take the responsibility but I have seen only three games. Do you have the feeling he is a leader in this group? It's not Glenn's fault – but a real leader in the centre of the pitch? Sorry. Maybe I missed it. Michael Smith tries to take responsibility on the pitch.

"Before I came here, they signed some players who have experience and are the right age to take the responsibility but maybe they are not fit at the moment or they cannot handle the situation at the moment."

Whelan has not featured since those comments, as well as not being at training in the last few days.

He is available to join any club and is likely to be keen to return to action soon with Ireland’s Euro 2020 play-off semi-final against Slovakia in March in mind.