Former England and Newcastle manager Sir Bobby Robson has turned down the chance to join Hearts.
Robson does not want to move away from his Newcastle home
BBC Scotland understands that Robson, 72, considered the offer to become director of football at Tynecastle.
But the ex-Barcelona, Sporting Lisbon and Porto coach has opted to stay in the Newcastle area for family reasons.
Hearts have identified a number of other targets and hope to set up a meeting with former Parma coach Nevio Scala about a possible role.
Major Hearts shareholder Vladamir Romanov has held talks with chief executive Phil Anderton to discuss a shortlist.
And the Lithuanian is understood to want high-profile names for a new regime that will involve a first team coach working under a director of football.
A number of candidates have already been spoken to, but Scala has contacted Hearts to express his interest.
Scala, who has also been in charge of Perugia, Borussia Dortmund, Besiktas, Shaktar Donetsk and Spartak Moscow, has made a late bid to throw his hat into the ring.
Scala, out of work since being sacked by Spartak, told the Daily Mail: "I believe Hearts tried to contact me four days ago, but I have been in Serbia and Romania on business and I have only just returned home.
"I believe contact can still be made, maybe even in the next day or two.
"I know about Hearts and about Scottish football, so it is something that would interest me.
"I would certainly like to find out more about Hearts and we will see what happens."
George Burley, who played under Robson at Ipswich, is one candidate being considered by Hearts' board for the job of first team coach.
Burley has just resigned his post at Derby County but may want to remain in England.