Preston North End head of recruitment Joe Savage reported to be interesting Southampton and Hearts

Preston boss Alex Neil with head of recruitment Joe Savage to his left
Preston boss Alex Neil with head of recruitment Joe Savage to his left

Preston North End's head of recruitment Joe Savage is said to be on Southampton's radar as they search for a new sporting director.

The Press Association have reported that Savage is being eyed by the Saints, as well as Scottish Premiership outside Hearts.

On Thursday morning, North End said they had not received any approach for Savage

Savage joined Preston in 2017, following boss Alex Neil to Deepdale after the pair worked together at Norwich and Hamilton.

He was chief scout at Carrow Road for two years having been director of recruitment and analysis at Hamilton.

Savage's role at Deepdale is more along the lines of a chief scout, with recruitment policy handled by Peter Ridsdale - advisor to PNE owner Trevor Hemmings - and Neil.

Southampton are looking for a new sporting director to replace Ross Wilson after he moved to Rangers last month.

Wilson helped bring boss Ralph Hasenhuttl to St Mary's last December following the departure of Mark Hughes.

The Saints are 18th in the Premier League having suffered a record 9-0 defeat to Leicester two weeks ago.

Managerless Hearts, who sacked Craig Levein last week, are looking to create a sole post for a sporting director.

Owner Ann Budge is reorganising the structure of the club, who sit second bottom of the Scottish Premiership, with Levein having also acted as director of football.