Hearts manager John McGlynn claimed a moral victory after his side were edged out of the Europa League by Liverpool - but now faces a battle to keep goalscorer David Templeton.
Templeton put Hearts in sight of extra time in their qualifying round play-off against the Reds when he fired a shot through Jose Reina's grasp with six minutes of the second leg remaining at Anfield.
It served only to rouse Liverpool, who responded by snatching a 1-1 draw and 2-1 aggregate success to claim a place in the group stages with an 88th-minute Luis Suarez strike.
McGlynn was proud of the battling efforts of his players but it may only have served to put them in the shop window heading into the final day of the transfer window.
Winger Templeton, 23, has been the subject of a bid from fallen giants Rangers, who are making a last-ditch effort to sign players before their transfer embargo begins on September 1.
McGlynn said: "I hope I can hang onto them all. Mr Romanov [chairman] was here and hopefully saw what the players achieved tonight and their efforts.
"There is a moral victory in there somewhere for Hearts and, I am sure, Scottish football. Hopefully he [Romanov] could see if he put some players into the squad what kind of season we could have.
"Hopefully it maybe gave him more of a concern to add to the squad rather than lose players.
"From the manager's point of view, I don't want to lose a player like David Templeton. But he is in the last year of his contract now and if there is a bid the board of directors feel they can't turn down, maybe there will be something done.
"I picked a team based on the fact no-one said David Templeton was not a Hearts player."