Austin MacPhee: Hearts assistant turns down offer from India

Hearts manager Craig Levein with assistant Austin MacPhee (right)
MacPhee (right) combines coaching roles with Hearts and Northern Ireland

Hearts assistant manager Austin MacPhee has turned down a head coach's role at Indian Super League club Pune City to remain at Tynecastle.

MacPhee, 38, was approached about the position last week and held discussions with the club.

However, the Northern Ireland coach has elected to remain in Edinburgh.

"It was an interesting offer from the Indian Super League side and one I thought very seriously about," MacPhee told the Hearts website.

"However, at this moment in time it is probably not the right opportunity for me and I am delighted to be continuing my work at Hearts.

"There is a lot to feel positive about as we head into the new season and I'm very much looking forward to the campaign ahead."

Hearts manager Craig Levein said he would not stand in MacPhee's way if he wanted to go.

Levein helped bring MacPhee to Tynecastle in late 2016, initially to assist Ian Cathro.

Hearts wait for Mitchell and sign Silva

Levein has had a busy summer, recruiting 11 players, including a loan return for Scotland forward Steven Naismith.

The manager would also like to arrange a similar deal for Manchester United left-back Demetri Mitchell, who impressed last season.

"Demetri did exceptionally well when he was with us in the second half of last season, so it is something I am still looking at," Levein said.

"There are no decisions to be made just now - he is away with Manchester United to America. We will see."

Hearts are working on a deal to bring David Vanecek from Teplice in this transfer window after the Czech striker signed a pre-contract agreement to move in January.

Meanwhile, Levein confirmed that goalkeeper Kevin Silva is joining the reserve squad after a trial period.

The 20-year-old American was most recently with Rutgers Scarlet Knights, of the Rutgers University of New Jersey.

Hearts open their League Cup campaign on Wednesday against Cove Rangers, the Highland League champions' first competitive game at their new Balmoral Stadium, south of Aberdeen.

"Once the real football starts then the pressure comes on," Levein added. "We can't afford to take this lightly.

"It's a long time since we won this competition. There aren't enough competitions that you can discard any of them as not important.

"It's really important that we get off to a good start."

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