Report claims Hearts are running the rule over several Stoke City stars
MacPhee attended Friday night clash as he looks to use international connection
Austin MacPhee is looking to use his connection with Michael O'Neill to bring Stoke City stars on loan in January, according to the Daily Record.
The former interim manager has been tasked with identifying targets in the January window, while Craig Levein has also been given a job by owner Ann Budge as she looks to cut down the wage bill at Tynecastle while also freeing money for new boss Daniel Stendel to spend.
Hearts are bottom of the Ladbrokes Premiership table after losing their first three games under the German's stewardship.
Moves are already being made to improve the squad in January. MacPhee attended Stoke's Friday night clash with Middlesbrough as he looks to offer Stendel some potential targets to sign on loan.
MacPhee works under Stoke boss O'Neill as part of the management team for the Northern Ireland national squad and is hoping to negotiate some cut-price deals.