Hearts have offered Rudi Skacel a full-time coaching role at Riccarton for next season, the Evening News can reveal.
The 34-year-old Czech is wanted for the job of technical coach within head coach Robbie Neilson’s backroom team but is reluctant to end his playing career just yet.
Having already recruited Stevie Crawford from Falkirk as assistant manager, Hearts see Skacel as the ideal candidate to help develop their young players and act as a role model for teenagers within their youth academy. They have proposed a permanent coaching position, however Skacel has yet to accept.
He wants to continue playing for at least another season and Hearts have not offered a playing contract. Ironically, the iconic midfielder had been earmarked to rejoin the Edinburgh club as a player for next season under previous manager Gary Locke. Neilson and Craig Levein, the new director of football, feel he would be better utilised solely in a coaching capacity.
Skacel has recently been working with Coerver Scotland at a series of soccer schools for children and has earned a reputation as a natural with young footballers. Hearts were impressed by his efforts with Coerver and made their move to bring him to Riccarton on a full-time basis.
Skacel, though, is desperate to keep playing for at least one more season as he approaches his 35th birthday. His last competitive match was more than a year ago before his departure from Slavia Prague.
He trained with Hearts between January and May and impressed Locke with his level of fitness. However, with the club in administration and unable to sign any new players, an application to register the Czech in place of player/goalkeeping coach Alan Combe was rejected by the Scottish Professional Football League in January.