New Hearts boss Ian Cathro insists a Tynecastle reunion with Ryan Gauld is unlikely after seeing the midfielder make his first major breakthrough in Portugal.
Former Dundee United youth guru Cathro is credited with playing a huge role in shaping Gauld’s career after the playmaker moved to Sporting Lisbon in a stunning £3 million switch from Tannadice two years ago.
But with the 20-year-old having only just forced his way into the team on loan at Vitoria de Setubal, Cathro does not hold out much hope of enticing Gauld to Gorgie on a temporary deal.
He said: “He’s at a point where I think he’s starting to break into that team.
“I’ve seen one of the games and I think he’s been asked to do slightly different things, he’s had to change maybe some aspects of his play in the last year and I think he’s done well.
“He has to do the right things for him.
“Will I ask the question? I don’t know, it really hasn’t crossed my mind. If everything is the right thing for everybody, then – no matter who that is, of course you would look into it.
“I don’t think those things align right now.
“I’ve been really impressed with how strong he has been with himself and I think that’s going to invaluable for him in his life and of course in his football career. “
Former Hearts boss Robbie Neilson, who left to join MK Dons, had been keen to recruit a winger when the January transfer window reopens and Cathro admits identifying targets will be a process that involves the likes of director of football Craig Levein.
He added: “Of course we’re aware of what we need and there’s meetings to be had and things to be looked at.
“I’ve made the comment that I’m not the guy to be thrown in the manager’s room and you lock the door.
“The club has a structure, there is not only the head coach in a football club that has an idea of what maybe the squad or the team needs.
“There are other people involved in that and the club is full of good people.
“The majority of the times those discussions are probably ones we’ll immediately agree with straight away and other times we’ll have discussions and we’ll share and the outcome will be the best decision for this club, made collectively.
“It’s the right thing to make collective decisions and that’s the way I want to work.”