IAN CATHRO has ruled out bringing Ryan Gauld to Tynecastle – at least for now.
The youngster has failed to break into Sporting Lisbon’s first team since his £3-million move two-and-a-half years ago.
Farmed out on loan to Sporting’s Primera Liga rivals, Vitoria Setubal, in the summer, the 20-year-old has made just two appearances while adapting to a new role as a deep-lying central midfielder.
With three years still to run on his deal in the Portuguese capital – and a £50 million buyout clause in effect – Gauld could be made available for further loan spells.
But Cathro, who fine-tuned Gauld’s skills at Dundee United, reckons that for the time being, his former pupil still wants to prove himself in Portugal.
“I don’t know if I’ll ask the question about Ryan. It hasn’t crossed my mind yet,” said the new Jam Tarts coach.
“If everything is right for everyone – no matter who it is – you’d look into it. But I don’t think those things align right now.
“What’s important for Ryan is that I’ve been impressed by how strong he’s been with himself. That will be invaluable to him in life and in his football career.
“He’s at a point where he’s starting to break into the Vitoria Setubal side.
“I watched one of the games and he’s being asked to do different things. He’s had to change aspects of his play which he’s done well.
“Now he has to do the right things for himself.”
Like Gauld, Hearts star John Souttar is, to an extent, a Cathro creation.
Having teamed up again at Tynecastle, the new Jam Tarts coach could be forgiven for a sense of pride over his charge’s progress.
Instead, he insists personal satisfaction has long since been replaced by pragmatism.
“There is no pride. That was cut off,” he said. “When he was improving on a day-to-day basis, there were daily bits of pride. That’s when that was important.
“Now John is a member of the squad and he needs to do his job. That’s it.”
Part of Cathro’s job will be to help his new club negotiate the January transfer window.
Full back Callum Paterson, who is free to talk to other clubs next month, has been linked with a move away from Tynecastle, with Derby County and Watford topping the list of potential suitors.
“Of course, I’m aware of the window coming up,” said Cathro. “There’s discussions and meetings to be had.
“But I just had to get through last week, not listening to a lot of things, just working.
“The club has a structure. It’s not just the Head Coach at the club who has an idea of what the team needs.
“There’s other people involved in that. We’ll make collective decisions and the outcome will be the best ones for Hearts.
“That’s the right way and the way I want to work.”
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