London Hearts Supporters Club

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John McGlynn (Caretaker) <-auth Phil Gordon auth-> John Underhill
Jankauskas Edgaras [G Buezelin 78] ;[G O'Connor 80]
19 of 099 ----- L SPL A

Ranieri 'not first choice' for Hearts

By Phil Gordon
CLAUDIO RANIERI has not jumped to the head of the queue to become the new manager of Heart of Midlothian, despite the huge public interest created by the former Chelsea manager.

Ranieri, 53, declared his interest yesterday in succeeding George Burley at the Bank of Scotland Premierleague leaders after having talks in Edinburgh on Thursday with Vladimir Romanov, the club’s majority shareholder.

However, sources close to Hearts insist that the Italian has not supplanted Sir Bobby Robson as the club’s preferred choice. Romanov has stated that he would like a director of football at Tynecastle and a coach as part of a new set-up.

Suggestions, however, of a Ranieri-Robson dream ticket seem misplaced. Robson, the 72-year-old former England manager, is thought to be lukewarm about taking an upstairs role as he prefers to be out on the training ground.

Hearts are in no rush to make an appointment. They have John McGlynn, the first-team coach, as caretaker manager, and if the leaders emerge from the Edinburgh derby against Hibernian at Easter Road tomorrow with a a victory, that would buy Romanov more time.

However, Ranieri expressed his admiration yesterday for Romanov’s plans for the club. “I think that could be a good project,” he told BBC Radio. “The first meeting is important and it was good. I think Vladimir Romanov wants to do something very important and I’m looking for a good project.”

Ranieri was at Chelsea for four years before his departure in 2004, when he was replaced by José Mourinho. He guided Chelsea to the semi-finals of the Champions League in his final year at the club.

He then returned to Spain for a second stint with Valencia but that ended after just eight months. However, Ranieri, who has also managed Fiorentina, in his native Italy, and Atlético Madrid, has little need of money after a large pay-off from Chelsea and he can afford to choose his next job with greater care.

A Hearts spokesman said: “We can confirm that the club have had talks with various applicants, with Ranieri and Robson being two of those. That is in line with the type of pedigree that we are looking for and we are encouraged by the discussions so far.”

Meanwhile, McGlynn admitted yesterday that he would love to work alongside whoever Hearts bring in as Burley’s replacement.

“I’ve not spoken to Mr Romanov since Wednesday but a lot of that will depend on who comes in and who they bring,” he said.

“I would be willing to work alongside anyone because I am still willing to learn in the game. Whether it’s Claudio Ranieri or Sir Bobby Robson, they are both experienced gentlemen who have a vast knowledge of the game and I could only learn from them.”

McGlynn believes that the Hearts players can hand over the same lead in the title race to whichever manager who succumbs to Romanov’s lure that they established under Burley. “The players have rallied round and they have a cause to win the league,” he said. “The team have had that spirit on and off the park and I think they can get over this and even grow stronger.”

Taken from

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