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Last Updated: Monday, 31 October 2005, 10:46 GMT
Ranieri explains Hearts decision
Claudio Ranieri
Former Chelsea coach Claudio Ranieri confirmed reports that he has pulled out of the running for the vacant Hearts job.

The Tynecastle club have been searching for a new boss since George Burley left last week.

Ranieri was in the frame for the post but it was reported on Saturday the Italian's salary demands were too high.

However, he told the Daily Record: "I want to thank the club but Hearts isn't the right job for me at the moment."

Ranieri, who along with Sir Bobby Robson was tipped to take over, flew to Edinburgh for talks with majority shareholder Vladimir Romanov at the end of last week.

It would fantastic if someone like Sir Bobby could come and join us at this club
Hearts chief executive Phil Anderton
Although Robson is now considered to be the front runner for the post, fellow former England and Newcastle coach Kevin Keegan has also been approached by Hearts, BBC Sport understands.

It is believed that Keegan was on Hearts' shortlist in the summer before the appointment of George Burley.

The Edinburgh club now want to talk again to the former Manchester City and Newcastle United boss.

Despite newspaper speculation linking Ottmar Hitzfeld with the job, it is believed that the former Borussia Dortmund coach is not interested, while former Parma boss Nevio Scala has not been approached.

Hearts' unbeaten league run was ended by Hibernian in John McGlynn's third game as caretaker boss on Saturday.

But chief executive Phil Anderton told BBC Radio Five Live: "We are going to take the appropriate time to reach our long-term aspirations."

Keegan resigned from Manchester City in March and it was thought at the time that it would be his last managerial appointment.

Robson turned down the Hearts job in the summer for personal reasons before the appointment of George Burley but has held new talks.

It appears that the 73-year-old wants to be coach, while it is thought that majority shareholder Vladimir Romanov sees him more as a director of football overseeing another new man to train and pick the team.

"It would fantastic if someone like Sir Bobby could come and join us at this club," said Anderton.

"Sir Bobby Robson is a quality manager with a superb track record and we are very impressed with his abilities."

Hungary coach Lothar Matthaus is thought to be interested in the post, while Hearts are also keen to talk to sacked Republic of Ireland boss Brian Kerr.

Scala was interviewed during the summer but confirmed: "I have not been contacted. I have said before that the job interests me, but they know my phone number."

Burley parted company with the SPL leaders after being reportedly concerned at Romanov's interference with team affairs.

Interview: Claudio Ranieri

Interview: Hearts chairman George Foulkes

Hearts keen to talk with Keegan
30 Oct 05 |  Heart of Midlothian
Hearts reject interference claims
24 Oct 05 |  Heart of Midlothian
Hearts hope for talks with Robson
24 Oct 05 |  Heart of Midlothian
Burley in shock exit from Hearts
22 Oct 05 |  Heart of Midlothian


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