Having been given permission to speak to the Newcastle United coach, the Tynecastle club are close to announcing the 30-year-old as the successor to Robbie Neilson. Cathro is likely to be joined at Hearts by Austin MacPhee, who is assistant to Michael O’Neill in the Northern Ireland set-up and is expected to combine his existing job with the new role at Hearts.
MacPhee, 37, had been interviewed by the Scottish FA about the post of performance director but it is understood he has opted to join up with Cathro and Hearts.
The likely appointment of Cathro and MacPhee is an ambitious move by the Edinburgh side. Neither man comes from a conventional Scottish football background but both have forged impressive reputations as innovative coaches.
Prior to joining Newcastle, Cathro worked at Valencia and the Portuguese side Rio Ave following stints at Dundee United and with the Scottish FA at their performance school in Dundee.
Like MacPhee, he forged his coaching reputation working with youths at his own football academy.
The new management team will take charge of their first match on Saturday when Hearts travel to Ibrox to take on Rangers.
It’s a daunting baptism but Hearts full-back Callum Paterson is convinced the club’s set-up is so well advanced that the new man will have no trouble in making the transition.
“We’ve shown we’ve got depth and diversity in the squad so he (the new manager) can mix it up and it won’t be that hard a job for him coming in,” said Paterson.
“It’s a great environment for anyone to work in and the new manager can hit the ground running.”