Blow for Benitez? Newcastle coach Ian Cathro reportedly leaving to become Hearts manager

Steve McClaren (R) and Ian Cathro during Newcastle training

Newcastle coach Ian Cathro is reportedly in line to become Hearts manager.

According to The Scottish Sun, Newcastle assistant coach Ian Cathro poised to replace Robbie Neilson as Heart of Midlothian manager by the end of the week – at the age of just 30.

Hearts are set to lose manager Neilson, as whilst the 36-year-old will take charge of tonight's game against Rangers, he's set to leave the club for League One side Milton Keynes Dons, following Karl Robinson's departure.

Hearts manager Robbie Neilson holds the matchballHearts manager Robbie Neilson

With 61 wins in his 105 games in charge of the club, Neilson is a huge loss for Hearts, and they will hope to move quickly to land his replacement, with ex-Hearts defender Steven Pressley one named mentioned for the job.

However, The Scottish Sun report that Newcastle United's assistant coach Ian Cathro is set to land the job, with the Scot seemingly closing in on his first managerial job.

Steve McClaren (R) and Ian Cathro during Newcastle trainingSteve McClaren (R) and Ian Cathro during Newcastle training

Cathro, 30, has been touted as one of Europe's top young coaches in recent years, having been with Dundee United, Rio Ave, Valencia and now Newcastle, where he serves as an assistant coach to Rafael Benitez.

Cathro has been tipped to become a manager for some time despite his youth, and it's now claimed that Hearts could push to land the Scot before the end of the week, with compensation unlikely to be an issue.

Newcastle United assistant coaches Ian Cathro and Paul Simpson during trainingIan Cathro and Paul Simpson during Newcastle training

The situation may come as a blow to Benitez, who kept Cathro at the club upon his arrival earlier this year, and the Magpies boss may be looking to find a replacement in the coming weeks.

At 30, Cathro is in line to become the Scottish Premiership's youngest-ever manager, and he'll be hoping to take the experience from working under Benitez into his own work as a boss at Tynecastle.

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