In-form Rangers-linked Hearts defender John Souttar could be sold in the January transfer window, Robbie Neilson has suggested [Daily Record].
Rangers have been linked to Souttar in the past and were credited with interest again recently [Daily Mail [17/11/21, print edition p.78]].
The 25-year-old defender has been in good form at Tynecastle and he scored for Scotland in their impressive win over Denmark on Monday night.
His contract is up at the end of the season and it was claimed in the recent Daily Mail article that Hearts would accept £500k for him in January.
“It depends what the fee is, to be honest with you,” replied Neilson after being asked if the Jambos would sell in the upcoming window [Daily Record]. “At this moment in time, he’s a Hearts player and we’re still trying to get him to continue to be a Hearts player.”
“We’ll see where it goes. My job is just to make sure he’s ready for Saturday. The better the team does, and the higher up the league they are, it’s harder to keep all the players.
“It’s just part of football and something you have to accept. We’re speaking to him. There are a number of players we’re speaking to but that’s the way football is. It goes back and forward, back and forwards. Joe [Savage] is still dealing with it, still trying to see if we can get some sort of agreement on it.”
Hearts are clearly open to a sale if a new contract can’t be sorted before the January window opens and if £500k is indeed the asking price, Rangers could well try to bring Souttar to Ibrox, with centre-back an area of concern going forward.
Connor Goldson and Leon Balogun are out of contract in the summer, while Jack Simpson has failed to establish himself at the club.
It remains to be seen whether or not Hearts would sell to Rangers in the middle of a season, though, as with a number of EFL Championship and MLS clubs also said to be interested, suitable offers may arrive from elsewhere.
Meanwhile, there’s uncertainty at Rangers following conflicting reports on a key Ibrox issue.