Newcastle United first-team coach Ian Cathro could be named as new Hearts boss in the next 48 hours, according to reports in Scotland.
Cathro has long been thought to be the man identified by the Scottish Premier League side to replace Robbie Neilson who departed for MK Dons.
And it would appear that the 30-year-old coach’s exit from St James’ Park is moving nearer, with talks starting today, according to the Scottish Sun.
They started on Saturday as Cathro wanted to be involved in the Magpies’ Championship clash with Nottingham Forest on Friday night – a match that ended in a 2-1 defeat.
It is reported that a deal between the two parties will be concluded within 48 hours, with compensation to Newcastle not thought to be an issue as he would depart with manager Rafa Benitez’s blessing.
Cathro is also friends with Tynecastle director of football Craig Levein. However, when asked about the situation he refused to give much away.
Levein said: “I’m not going to get involved in talking about individuals.
“Ian is a friend of mine but he is employed by another club, so I don’t want to talk about him.
“I don’t want to talk about anybody other than to say he must fit the profile, which hasn’t changed from Robbie really.
“We’re looking for a young, intelligent, energetic, enthusiastic coach who can help us move on from where we are.
“That’s the key – to try to get someone in who can improve us.”
Further strengthening the likelihood Cathro is the man he wants, he continued: “The salary is not astronomical, and just like with signing players, sometimes you need to see potential in people, and develop them with room to improve.
“Experienced managers can be set in their ways and have expectation levels of salary and suchlike.
“And some of the really serious ones, if we were to go after them, we would not be able to afford them.
“It is about finding someone who is value for money, and who maybe doesn’t have the ceilings in their thought processes that everyone else in Scotland has.
“This is a job that is both attractive and highly pressured. It’s not the easiest of jobs because when you get to a club this size, people expect you to win every week.
“That’s something the new head coach will understand.”
Cathro arrived on Tyneside in the summer of 2015 as part of Steve McClaren’s backroom team. He’d previously worked as a coach at Spanish side Valencia.
He was the only member of the first-team coaching staff retained by Benitez upon the Spaniard’s arrival.
It now appears his time at the club is coming to an end, however, not long after admitting he had developed a great affection for the Magpies.
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Newcastle United Fixtures
Friday December 2
19:45 Championship N Forest v Newcastle United
Saturday December 10
15:00 Championship Newcastle United v Birmingham City
Wednesday December 14
19:45 Championship Wigan Athletic v Newcastle United
Saturday December 17
15:00 Championship Burton Albion v Newcastle United
Monday December 26
19:45 Championship Newcastle United v Sheff Wed
Friday December 30
19:45 Championship Newcastle United v N Forest
NOTTINGHAM FOREST 2 NEWCASTLE UTD 1 (Ritchie)
Darlow, Yedlin, Lascelles, Clark, Dummett, Hayden, Shelvey, Ritchie, Perez (45' Anita), Gouffran (77' Diame), Gayle (87' Mitrovic)
Subs: Mbemba, Tiote, Sels, Atsu
LC HULL CITY 1 NEWCASTLE UNITED 1 (Diame) * Lost on pens
Sels, Anita (108 Yedlin), Lascelles, Clark, Lazaar, Ritchie (80 Atsu), Shelvey, Hayden (105 Murphy), Gouffran, Diame, Gayle
Subs: Dummett, Mbemba, Tiote, Darlow
NEWCASTLE 0 BLACKBURN ROVERS 1
Darlow, Yedlin, Mbemba (85' Gayle), Clark, Gamez (55' Dummett), Ritchie, Hayden, Shelvey, Atsu, Perez, Mitrovic
Subs: Lascelles, Anita, Diame, Gouffran, Sels
LEEDS UTD 0 NEWCASTLE 2 (Gayle 2)
Darlow, Anita, Lascelles, Clark, Dummett, Ritchie, Colback (83' Hayden), Shelvey, Gouffran (76' Diame), Perez, Gayle (79' Mitrovic)
Subs: Mbemba, Yedlin, Sels, Atsu
NEWCASTLE 2 CARDIFF 1 (Atsu, Gouffran)
Darlow, Yedlin, Lascelles, Clark, Dummett, Atsu (89' Diame), Shelvey, Hayden, Gouffran (72' Anita), Perez, Mitrovic
Subs: Colback, Hanley, Lazaar, Gayle, Sels
PRESTON 1 NEWCASTLE 2 (Mitrovic 2)
Darlow, Yedlin (90+5' Hanley), Lascelles, Clark, Dummett, Ritchie (90+2' Atsu), Hayden, Shelvey, Gouffran, Diame, Mitrovic (86' Perez)
Subs: Lazaar, Anita, Gamez, Sels
LC NEWCASTLE 6 PRESTON 0 (Mitrovic 2, Diame 2, Ritchie (pen), Perez)
Sels, Yedlin, Mbemba, Hanley, Dummett (58' Anita), Ritchie (75' Perez), Hayden, Colback (32' Shelvey), Atsu, Diame, Mitrovic
Subs: Clark, Gayle, Gouffran, Darlow
NEWCASTLE 3 IPSWICH TOWN 0 (Perez 2, Ritchie)
Darlow, Yedlin, Lascelles, Clark, Dummett, Ritchie, Colback, Shelvey (83' Hayden), Gouffran (75' Atsu), Perez, Gayle (79' Mitrovic)
Subs: Anita, Diame, Mbemba, Sels
BARNSLEY 0 NEWCASTLE 2 (Gayle 2)
Darlow, Anita, Lascelles, Clark, Dummett, Shelvey, Hayden, Ritchie (83' Atsu), Diame (90+2' Colback), Gouffran, Gayle
Subs: Lazaar, Perez, Yedlin, Sels, Mitrovic
NEWCASTLE 3 BRENTFORD 1 (Clark, Gayle 2)
Darlow; Anita, Lascelles (Hanley 60), Clark, Dummett; Shelvey, Colback; Atsu (Yedlin 72), Perez, Gouffran (Lazaar 84); Gayle.
Subs: Sels, Hayden, Diame, Mitrovic.
ROTHERHAM 0 NEWCASTLE 1 (Atsu)
Darlow, Anita, Lascelles, Clark, Dummett, Atsu (67' Ritchie), Shelvey, Colback, Gouffran, Diame (87' Hanley), Gayle (79' Mitrovic)
Subs: Hayden, Mbemba, Yedlin, Sels
NEWCASTLE 4 NORWICH 3 (Gayle 3, Gouffran)
Darlow, Yedlin, Lascelles, Clark, Dummett (92 Atsu), Ritchie, Shelvey, Colback (71' Hayden), Gouffran, Diame (71' Mitrovic), Gayle
Subs: Lazaar, Perez, Mbemba, Sels
ASTON VILLA 1 NEWCASTLE 1 (Elphick og)
Sels, Yedlin (75' Tiote), Lascelles, Clark, Dummett, Ritchie, Hayden, Shelvey, Gouffran, Diame, Gayle (80' Mitrovic)
Subs: Hanley, Lazaar, Perez, Darlow, Atsu
LC NEWCASTLE 2 WOLVES 0 (Ritchie, Gouffran)
Darlow, Yedlin, Hanley, Clark, Lazaar, Shelvey, Colback, Ritchie (86' Lascelles), Diame (72' Perez), Gouffran (75' Atsu), Murphy
Subs: Dummett, Hayden, Woodman, Mitrovic
NEWCASTLE UTD 0 WOLVES 2
Sels, Anita, Mbemba, Lascelles, Dummett, Hayden (Mitrovic 62) Shelvey, Ritchie (Atsu 63), Diame, Perez, Gayle
Subs not used: Clark, Colback, Gouffran, Yedlin, Darlow
QPR 0 NEWCASTLE 6 (Shelvey 2, Perez, Clark, Mitrovic, Hanley)
Sels, Anita, Lascelles, Clark, Dummett (65' Hanley), Gouffran (61' Atsu), Hayden, Shelvey, Ritchie, Perez, Mitrovic (74' Yedlin)
Subs: Colback, Gayle, Diame, Darlow
DERBY CO 0 NEWCASTLE 2 (Gouffran, Yedlin)
Sels, Anita, Mbemba, Lascelles, Dummett, Ritchie, Shelvey, Colback, Gouffran (73' Yedlin), Diame (88' Hayden), Gayle (76' Perez)
Subs: Clark, Lazaar, Darlow, Mitrovic
NEWCASTLE 2 BRIGHTON 0 (Lascelles, Shelvey)
Sels, Anita (72' Gamez), Mbemba, Lascelles, Dummett, Ritchie, Hayden, Shelvey, Gouffran (88' Yedlin), Diame (81' Colback), Perez
Subs: Clark, Hanley, Darlow, Armstrong
(LC) NEWCASTLE 2 CHELTENHAM 0 (Perez 2)
Darlow, Sterry, Lascelles, Hanley, Gamez, Aarons (24' Gouffran), Shelvey, Colback, Perez, Diame, Mitrovic (38' Gayle)
Subs: Dummett, Hayden, Mbemba, Sels
BRISTOL CITY 0 NEWCASTLE 1 (Gayle)
Sels, Anita, Mbemba, Lascelles, Clark, Ritchie, Hayden (87' Shelvey), Colback, Gouffran, Diame (63' Perez), Gayle (88' Aarons)
Subs: Dummett, Hanley, Darlow, Sterry
NEWCASTLE 4 READING 1 (Hayden, Ritchie (P), Gayle 2)
Sels, Anita, Mbemba, Clark, Dummett, Hayden, Shelvey, Ritchie (90' Aarons), Perez (76' Lascelles), Gouffran (84' Colback), Gayle
Subs: Hanley, Janmaat, Darlow, Armstrong
NEWCASTLE 1 HUDDERSFIELD 2 (Gayle)
Sels, Janmaat (83' Armstrong), Mbemba, Lascelles, Dummett, Anita, Hayden, Shelvey, Aarons (45' Ritchie), Diame (75' Perez), Gayle
Subs: Clark, Colback, Darlow, Gamez
FULHAM 1 NEWCASTLE 0
Sels; Janmaat, Lascelles, Hanley, Dummett; Hayden (Shelvey 77), Colback (Aarons 61); Ritchie, Perez (Armstrong 70), Anita; Gayle.
Subs Mbemba, Darlow, Jesus Gamez, Sterry.
NEWCASTLE 3 VITESSE ARNHEM 2 (Leerdam (og), Gayle, Colback)
Sels; Janmaat (Sterry, 74), Hanley (Gamez, 62), Lascelles, Dummett; Hayden (Saivet, 74), Colback (Shelvey, 62); Anita (Mitrovic, 74), Perez (Armstrong, 62), Ritchie (Aarons, 62); Gayle (Gouffran, 74). Subs not: Darlow, Tiote, Thauvin.
SOUTHEND UTD 0 NEWCASTLE 2 (Anita, Gouffran)
Darlow; Janmaat (Sterry 63), Mbemba (Hanley 63), Lascelles, Dummett; Hayden (Colback 63), Shelvey (Saivet 73); Anita (Thauvin 78), Perez (Mitrovic 73), Aarons (Gouffran 63); Gayle (Armstrong 63).
Sub not used: Sels.
SPORTING LOKEREN 0 NEWCASTLE 4 (Perez 2, Perez, Janmaat, Shelvey)
Sels (Darlow 72); Sterry (Gouffran 63), Mbemba (Saivet 72), Lascelles (Dummett 63), Anita (Gamez 46); Hayden (Shelvey 46), Colback (Tiote 72); Janmaat, Perez (Mitrovic 46), Aarons (Thauvin 63), Gayle (Armstrong 63).
Subs not used: None.
DONCASTER ROVERS 2 NEWCASTLE UTD 2 (Hayden, Perez)
Sels, Janmaat (Sterry, 45), Mbemba (Saivet, 65), Lascelles (Dummett, 45), Colback (Hayden, 45), Anita (Gamez, 45), Ritchie (Gouffran, 45), Aarons (Perez, 45), Shelvey (Wijnaldum, 79), Mitrovic (Gayle, 45), Armstrong (Thauvin, 60).
BOHEMIANS 0 NEWCASTLE 6 (Ritchie, Mitrovic, Gayle, Thauvin, Aarons, Wijnaldum)
Sels, Anita, Lascelles, Mbemba, Sterry, Aarons, Colback, Gouffran, Ritchie, Saivet, Mitrovic.
Subs: Darlow, Gamez, Dummett, Wijnaldum, Shelvey, Hayden, Perez, Gayle, Janmaat, Tiote, Thauvin.