Rafa Benitez reacts to Hearts' interest in Newcastle coach Ian Cathro

Rafa Benitez

Rafa Benitez

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Rafa Benitez says there's been no official approach from Heart of Midlothian for coach Ian Cathro.

Hearts are set to lose Robbie Neilson to struggling League One club MK Dons.

And Dundee-born Cathro, 30, has been identified by the Scottish club as a potential successor to Neilson.

Asked about speculation linking Cathrow with Hearts, United manager Benitez said: "Ian is a great coach.

"We don’t have any official approach. We are happy with him and we will continue with that. At the moment we don’t have any approach. He is a young coach, he has some experience and has a great future.

“The media is telling me Hearts will come, but it depends on the head coach they have at the moment if he goes or not. That is football. It is just speculation."

However, the Gazette understands Newcastle will NOT stand in Cathro's way should Hearts make an approach.

Cathro has previously spoken of his desire to be a manager or head coach in his own right.