Rangers’ chances of adding John Souttar to their squad this month may have diminished with the latest Hearts injury blow, as Robbie Neilson explains that the defender’s price tag has just increased.
Craig Halkett was injured against Celtic in midweek and with Taylor Moore out too, then Souttar remains vital for Hearts European ambitions.
Souttar signed a pre-contract agreement with the Ibrox side last week and although he will be arriving in Glasgow in the summer, there were hopes that the club could twist Heart’s arm with a fee and get him settled as soon as possible.
This now seems unlikely, as Neilson has asserted his dominance over the situation, although his declaration of an increased fee may fall on deaf ears if Rangers keep applying pressure.
“Craig Halkett has a hamstring problem and Taylor Moore is out and it’s going to take a big bid to take John, that’s for sure because we don’t have anybody else at the moment,” explained Neilson to BBC Scotland.
“It’s got to (increase the price tag). We play against Motherwell on Saturday and then we have the derby and have Rangers away.
“We need our players, if we lose players to injury, we can’t afford just to let players go for minimal fees.”
Rangers may have to wait until the summer to land John Souttar
These comments from the Hearts boss suggest that the Ibrox side is going to have to make an offer out with their estimations in order to sign the defender.
Although getting the player in the first-team squad now and giving him time to settle would be beneficial, I don’t think it’s an urgent requirement.
Leon Balogun is back amongst the side and Filip Helander won’t be far off returning to the starting XI, so we look solid in that department at the moment.
With Rangers only conceding three goals in van Bronckhorst’s twelve matches in charge so far, any major tweaks to the backline may cause a disruption that isn’t needed at this stage of the season.
There are still three days to go before the transfer window shuts, anything can happen in that time.