Hearts reportedly want £500,000 plus “significant add-ons” if John Souttar is to move to Rangers this month, having already signed a pre-contract at Ibrox.
According to the Daily Mail, the Jambos aren’t willing to let Souttar leave on the cheap – despite the Tynecastle side doing exactly the same when they pinched Souttar from Dundee United.
A statement released by Hearts last night claimed Souttar won’t be allowed to leave unless a “significant and satisfactory” offer is made by Rangers.
With a potential European windfall on the line, Hearts are prepared to hold on to Souttar until the summer when his contract expires to help them secure third in the league.
However, the report also claims Souttar wants to “make a clean break” this month and head across the M8 and get settled at Ibrox over the coming weeks and months.
With Hearts in Scottish Cup action next weekend, getting a deal done before then would be helpful and avoid Souttar becoming cup-tied for the rest of the campaign.
Adding him to the squad ahead of the upcoming Europa League clash with Borussia Dortmund would also make a lot of sense.
The ill-feeling from Hearts fans over the move is likely to see Souttar get a frosty reception next time he turns out for Hearts and it is hard to see how the Jambos can manage to keep him until the summer.
While £500k is probably more than Rangers would have anticipated having to pay, it’s a relatively small fee regardless of whether Souttar is out of contract in the summer.
Getting him in this month rather than the end of the season will really bolster a defence which is a bit on the light side thanks to injuries and the sale of Nathan Patterson so the Light Blues may just decide to cough up and make Souttar a Rangers player sooner rather than later.