Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez provides update on Ian Cathro future

Newcastle United assistant coach Ian Cathro during training

The impressive young coach has been heavily tipped to take over at Hearts in recent days.

Newcastle United boss Rafael Benitez is insistent that there has been no official approach from Hearts for Magpies coach Ian Cathro, The Chronicle reports.

The 30-year-old has been heavily tipped to depart St James’ Park in recent days, with Scottish Premiership side Hearts reportedly determined to make him the youngest manager in the history of the top flight with highly-rated current coach Robbie Neilson expected to take over at League One outfit MK Dons.

Newcastle United assistant coach Ian Cathro during training

Neilson won the Scottish Championship title before establishing the Edinburgh club back in the top tier during the last two seasons, so his departure will be a huge blow to a side with ambitions of European qualification.

But Benitez has told reporters that Hearts are yet to make their move for a valued member of his backroom staff.

"Ian's a great coach but we haven't had any official approach yet,” the Spaniard said in quotes reported by The Chronicle. “He is doing well. He has the qualities to coach."

Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez

Cathro is one of the brightest young minds in the British game, having spent time honing his trade with La Liga crisis club Valencia before arriving at St James’ Park under Steve McClaren.

Benitez decided to keep the Scotsman on after taking over from the current Derby County boss, though his seemingly inevitable departure means the former Real Madrid manager will have lost two of his most trusted colleagues in recent months after assistant Fabio Pecchia left to take charge of Hellas Verona.

However, The Chronicle reported earlier in the week that Newcastle would not stand in Cathro’s way if he decides to take on the role north of the border.

Newcastle United Assistant Coach Ian Cathro with Manager Steve McClaren and assistant Coach Paul Simpson during training

Register for NEWCASTLE UNITED team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch