Hearts head coach Robbie Neilson to hold talks with MK Dons

Hearts head coach Robbie Neilson
Robbie Neilson's side sit fourth in the Premiership

Hearts head coach Robbie Neilson is travelling to speak to MK Dons on Tuesday afternoon about their vacant managerial position.

Neilson, 36, led Hearts' training on Tuesday morning but will meet officials from the League One club later.

He is still expected to take Hearts for Wednesday's match against Rangers.

The Tynecastle club are currently fourth in the Scottish Premiership - two points off Rangers - while MK Dons are 19th in League One.

*Tynecastle capacity due to increase to more than 20,000 after current redevelopment
ClubHeart of MidlothianMK Dons
Founded18742004
Stadium and capacityTynecastle Stadium, 17,500*Stadium mk, 30,500
Average home crowd so far, 2016-17 (league games)16,2949,229
Turnover/staff costs (£)9.97m/5.5m (year to June 2016)5.17m/4.99m (year to June 2015)
Current positionFourth in Scottish Premiership19th in League One
2015-16 performanceThird, qualified for Europa League23rd in Championship, relegated
Last trophy wonScottish Championship, 2014-15League Two, 2007-08

A Dons statement on Monday read: "The club respects that Hearts has an important fixture with Rangers in the Scottish Premiership on Wednesday evening.

"And, therefore, no further comment will be made until after that match."

Simultaneous statements from the clubs came hours after Neilson had held a pre-match media conference in which he stressed his desire to lead Hearts to a win that would lift them above Rangers into second place.

Hearts owner Ann Budge revealed to BBC Scotland on Saturday that Neilson had met the Edinburgh club's board last week.

Speaking ahead of Saturday's 3-0 win over Motherwell, she said the head coach had their full backing despite a run of four games without a victory but that she would be disappointed to finish outside the top three.

In light of MK Dons' interest, Hearts said: "Robbie is aware of the approach, but he remains fully focused on the immediate task at hand, which is, of course, Rangers at home on Wednesday.

"No further comment or statement will be made by the club until after this match."

Steven Gerrard at Anfield on Saturday
Steven Gerrard decided not to join MK Dons and was back at Anfield on Saturday

Former England and Liverpool midfielder Steven Gerrard last week held talks with the Dons following the departure of Karl Robinson.

However, the 36-year-old said the vacancy came "a bit too soon" for him after his exit from LA Galaxy.

The Dons lost 2-1 win away to Coventry City under caretaker manager Richie Barker.

Neilson, a former right-back who won one Scotland cap, had a two-year spell in England with Leicester City after spending the first 10 years of his career at Tynecastle.

He also had time on loan to Brentford then returned to Scotland with Dundee United and Falkirk before ending his playing career as player-coach with East Fife.

Neilson returned to Hearts in 2013 as under-20s development manager and was promoted to head coach after Budge bought the club the following May and installed Craig Levein as director of football.

He led his side to the Scottish Championship title and promotion in his first season in charge, resulting in him being nominated for PFA Scotland manager of the year.

In their first season back in the top flight, Neilson's Hearts side finished third in the Premiership and presently sit fourth.

Robinson, who had been in charge for more than six years, left the Dons in October following a poor start to the season and they are presently two points above the relegation zone.

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