Newcastle still to hear from Hearts amid links to head coach Ian Cathro
Last Updated: 01/12/16 4:58pm
Newcastle boss Rafa Benitez says there has still been no approach from Hearts for the club's head coach Ian Cathro.
Sky sources understand current Hearts head coach Robbie Neilson has rejected a late approach from Rotherham and will leave Tynecastle to become MK Dons boss after taking charge of the side for the last time against Rangers on Wednesday night.
According to Wednesday's Scottish Sun, Cathro has emerged as the favourite to succeed Neilson.
However, Newcastle say they have had no approach as of yet from the Scottish club for their coach.
Manager Rafa Benitez said on Thursday: "Ian is a great coach. We don't have any official approach. We are happy with him and we will continue with that. He is a young coach, he has some experience and has a great future.
"The media is telling me Hearts will come, but it depends on the head coach they have at the moment if he goes or not. That is football. It is just speculation."
Newcastle are unlikely to stand in Cathro's way, but will want compensation for the 30-year-old, with more movement expected once Neilson has been confirmed as the new MK Dons manager.
Cathro became the head of Dundee United's youth academy at the age of 22 after being appointed by then Tannadice boss, and now Hearts' director of football, Craig Levein.
In 2012 he was appointed assistant manager at Portuguese club Rio Ave before following manager Nuno Espirito Santo to La Liga side Valencia.
Cathro then joined Newcastle's coaching staff under Steve McClaren in 2015 and was kept on when Rafa Benitez replaced the former England manager towards the end of last season.
If he is appointed at Tynecastle, Cathro will become the Scottish top flight's youngest ever manager.