Hearts owner Ann Budge opens up on 'tortuous process' of trying to hire Daniel Stendel

The deal has hit a snag with Barnsley demanding compensation for their former manager

Ann Budge has confessed that Hearts’ bid to appoint Daniel Stendel as their new head coach has become a ‘tortuous’ process.

Stendel, 45, has verbally agreed terms to succeed Craig Levein, who was dismissed on October 31.

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However, the German’s former club, Barnsley, have thrown a spanner in the works by making it clear they will claim compensation if he joins the Jambos - despite sacking Stendel two months ago.

Hearts owner Ann Budge. Picture: SNS

A severance package was never agreed between Stendel and the Tykes, meaning he technically remains contracted to the Championship club, albeit on ‘gardening leave’.

That has caused a delay in Stendel’s appointment - Hearts had hoped to have the deal done by Tuesday - as Budge seeks to ensure the club are not hit will a sizeable fee for Stendel’s services.

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“I can’t add anything to what has already been in the media,” Budge told Forth News, publicly confirming Stendel as the club’s top target for the first time.

“It’s just a tortuous process, to be frank. I am trying to ensure all of the various contractual sides are tied up.

“This is partly due to the situation when he [Stendel] left Barnsley.

“It’s not so much about personal terms. It’s that we need to make sure we are doing things properly.”

Stendel led Barnsley to promotion to the English Championship last season but was dismissed in October on the back of a ten-game winless streak, much to the ire of many supporters.

His only previous managerial role was a 17-game spell in charge of Hannover 96, with whom he spent the majority of his playing career.