Hearts officials will compile a shortlist for their managerial vacancy over the next 24 hours, the Evening News has learned.
Tynecastle directors have been inundated with applications for the head coach's job since sacking Ian Cathro last week. They want his successor to have management experience, a knowledge of British football, and be able to appeal to supporters.
The club hierarchy are now ready to identify those who meet the required criteria and put a list of names together. Owner Ann Budge is keen not to appoint an inexperienced coach or promote someone from within the club's academy, as has happened previously.
Former Hearts managers Paulo Sergio and Csaba Laszlo have both applied for the role, as have the former Italy striker Fabrizio Ravanelli and the experienced German Norbert Duwel, who most recently managed Union Berlin.
Ex-Tynecastle captain Paul Hartley has declared his interest alongside former Scotland forward Dougie Freedman. Steve McClaren - once manager of England, Newcastle United and FC Twente - and Steven Pressley are also believed to be keen.
McClaren's name is expected to feature on the shortlist but it remains to be seen which others make the cut. Under-20 coach Jon Daly is in charge of the first team on an interim basis at the moment, assisted by fellow coaches Austin MacPhee and Liam Fox. They will stay in situ until a new man is appointed.