A report in the Edinburgh Evening News claims that Craig Halkett is close to signing a pre-contract agreement with Hearts.

The 23-year-old defender spent the majority of his youth career in the Rangers academy, but never made a senior appearance.

He left in 2016 in search of first team football, joining Livingston.

Halkett in pre-season action against Kilmarnock, back in 2017. (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

Since then, both he and the Lions have experienced a meteoric rise.

They have gained two promotions and with £450k rated Halkett as skipper, are now mixing it in the SPL.

During the first half of the season, in particular, Livi’s defence was exceptional.

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They kept clean sheets at home against both Old Firm sides and Halkett was central to those successes.

Halkett kept Scott Sinclair quiet at the Tony Macaroni back in November. (photo by Vagelis Georgariou/Action Plus via Getty Images)

Now, it appears that he’s set to end his association with Gary Holt’s team.

The report claims he has decided his future lies at Tynecastle, after several rounds of negotiations.

 

With his current contract set to expire in the summer, he is free to sign a pre-contract agreement as soon as terms are agreed.

Have Rangers missed a trick?

Steven Gerrard will need to strengthen the centre of his defence over the summer.

Joe Worrall is due to return to parent club Nottingham Forest and it will take something special for Gareth McAuley to earn an extension on his one-year contract.

Worrall will head back to the Championship. (Photo by Kieran Galvin/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Therefore, Halkett may have represented a solid, cost effective option.

He’s come on leaps and bounds since leaving the club and his stats speak for themselves this season.

Contributing to 14 clean sheets and chipping in with five goals for the SPL newcomers, is a great effort.

Rangers may well have dropped the ball here.