Owner Ann Budge is drawing up a shortlist for sporting director after Craig Levein was dismissed as both manager and director of football at Tynecastle.
Darnbrough has held recruitment and scouting roles at Burnley, Norwich and West Bromwich Albion. It is said he would be open to a Jambos approach.
MacPhee is also in the Hearts frame alongside Hull man Darnbrough
Current interim boss MacPhee is also reported as a likely contender for the sporting director role. The job itself will be part of a new management structure at Tynecastle.
MacPhee will likely keep the reigns as interim first-team boss for now as the club look to find a manager to succeed Levein. His first game didn’t exactly go to plan.
It ended in a 3-0 defeat to Rangers in the League Cup, with his side not putting up much of a fight in the process. He needs to avoid defeat in his exit interim game though, as defeat to bottom side St Mirren could leave Hearts bottom.
Whilst first-team duties are the priority right now, according to the report, MacPhee will likely be one of the candidates Budge looks at for the sporting director role.