Managerial search over

Budge to land her target with Stendel set for Hearts post

Ann Budge

Search: Ann Budge (pic: SNS Group)

Daniel Stendel is set to be unveiled as the new manager of Hearts – after sacked boss Craig Levein took him on a tour of the club’s training base.

The ex-Barnsley manager was in Edinburgh last week for talks over filling the vacant post and quickly became the club’s preferred candidate. As part of the process, he was shown round the academy at Riccarton on the outskirts of the city, with Levein by his side.

The former Scotland boss was axed at the end of October after a dreadful start to the season, owner Ann Budge relieving him of his duties as both manager and director of football.

However, with his contract being honoured until the end of the current campaign, Budge conceded she would happily consult with him over his successor.

Many Hearts fans were becoming increasingly frustrated at the length of time taken to appoint a new manager but that wait seems to be over with Stendel’s appointment understood to be imminent.

Part of the deal to bring the 45-year-old to Tynecastle includes his former Barnsley backroom team of Chris Stern and Dale Tonge. That could mean no place in the new set-up for the likes of caretaker boss Austin MacPhee and coaches Liam Fox and John Daly.

MacPhee had been hopeful of impressing in his stand-in role but two heavy defeats from Rangers and a bad loss to Kilmarnock scuppered any chance he may have had. He may fancy the new sporting director post created by Budge as part of a remodelled football management structure but it’s likely that post will be filled from outwith the club.

Hearts host Livingston in the Premiership tomorrow and there is every chance former Hannover 96 coach Stendel will have been confirmed by then, though the English Championship club are claiming compensation for the German, who remains on the Oakwell pay roll despite his sacking in October.

The new man will have to hit the ground running with the Jambos currently rooted at the wrong end of the table on the same 11-point mark as struggling St Mirren and basement club St Johnstone after just two wins from 14 matches.

Stuart McCall, Neil McCann, Alan Irvine and Steve Cotterill were the others of interest to Hearts.

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