Dougie Freedman has pulled out of the race to be new head coach of Hearts after he accepted a role as sporting director at Crystal Palace.
The 43-year-old was one of five men on Hearts’ final shortlist – Jon Daly, Steven Pressley, Paul Hartley and Billy Davies being the others – but he has returned to Selhurst Park, where he has played and managed in the past.
Crystal Palace manager Frank de Boer said: “I always worked with a Sporting Director during my time as manager at Ajax and I felt this was a position the club needed. I am looking forward to working with Dougie in this transfer window and beyond.”
Hearts are hoping to announce their new manager in the coming days, nearly three weeks after Ian Cathro was sacked after a disastrous eight-month spell in charge.