Former Preston manager Frankie McAvoy is set to become the new Academy chief at Hearts, according to a report, as sporting director Joe Savage completes a reshuffle of the Jambos’ staff.

McAvoy – who left Preston last month – is keen to get back into work and will replace Roger Arnott after he departed Tynecastle last week.

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The Edinburgh Evening News reports a deal between Hearts and McAvoy is close after working with Savage at Hamilton, Preston and Norwich City as part of Alex Neil’s coaching staff.

Once Neil was sacked at Preston early last year, McAvoy took the reins at Deepdale, initially on an interim basis where he won five of his eight matches in charge before being handed the role full-time.

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However, he was unable to replicate his early success and was shown the door in Decemeber after mustering just six wins in 21 league games.

The likes of Euan Henderson, Finlay Pollock and Scott McGill have recently come through the Academy at Riccarton to make their first-team debut and the Hearts hierarchy wants to see more young players make their way into the senior squad.

Two of the biggest successes to emerge under McAvoy in the past are ex-Hamilton duo James McCarthy and James McArthur, with both making the breakthrough at Accies while McAvoy was in charge of the Academy there.

Once his appointment is confirmed, McAvoy will take responsibility for all of the teams from the children’s academy to the age-group level teams below the professional squad.

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