Hearts legend Gary Mackay wants St Johnstone legend Tommy Wright to replace Daniel Stendel at Tynecastle.
Ex-Barnsley boss Stendel’s Jambos future is up in the air following their relegation from the Scottish Premiership, with a release clause kicking in when the SPFL called the top-flight campaign on Monday.
Wright – who guided Saints to another top-six finish prior to his departure – is the bookies’ favourite to succeed Michael O’Neill in the Northern Ireland hot seat.
Speaking to BBC Scotland, Mackay said: “I want Tommy Wright.
“When Craig Levein was removed from office at Hearts, Tommy’s team were also struggling.
“Now they are in the top six once again.
“I cannot believe that no clubs, Hearts included, have looked at what Tommy did at St Johnstone over the last six to seven years.
“He would be, for me, the man who would hopefully guide Hearts out of the Championship and into the kind of position they should be in the Premiership.”
Stendel will hold talks with Ann Budge about his position once the Hearts owner, considering legal action over the outcome of the season, is certain her club will play in Scottish football’s second tier next season.
She is preparing to submit a revised proposal on league reconstruction which could see the Jambos remain in an expanded Premiership
Initial talks on a top-flight revamp collapsed earlier this month.
Mackay added: “Ann is trying to salvage whatever she can.
“She has put so much into the club, I can understand why she is trying to look at everything possible.
“You can only go on what happens on the playing field and ultimately Hearts have shown they aren’t good enough.
“The thing that muddies it is there has now been a decision made on the Premiership and then in the [Hearts] statement, there could still be reconstruction.”