Robbie Neilson makes Rangers gag as Hearts boss addresses John Souttar half-time substitution
The defender could be the subject of a new bid from Rangers with the transfer window set to close on Monday night. Hearts travel across the city to face Hibs on Tuesday while Rangers take on Celtic at Parkhead 48 hours later.
The manager reported that the defender picked up a knock in a challenge in the first half but it was not thought to be serious.
He added that he was hoping there would be no further contact from Rangers despite the Ibrox side shipping three goals in their 3-3 draw with Ross County.
“There’s been nothing new with John although I saw they (Rangers) lost three goals today so I might get a phone call!” said Neilson. “But at this moment in time there’s been nothing.”
Souttar, who has signed a pre-contract deal with Rangers, was replaced by new signing Toby Sibbick at half-time.
The 45-minute outing could yet stand as his last appearance for Hearts although Neilson stressed that Souttar would be in his plans for Tuesday unless anything changes.
“He’s left here and he’ll be back in tomorrow,” said the manager. “And I expect he’ll be available for Tuesday - if he’s still here.
“He got a knock with that challenge in the first half,” he added. “He came in at half time and was sore. I was planning on giving Sibbick some game time for 20-30 minutes, so he got a wee bit more.
“Sibbick did well. He looked good. He has the physicality we need.”
Neilson stressed that Hibs’ 3-2 home defeat against Livingston was immaterial – as was the 12-point gap that has now opened up between the derby rivals.
“It doesn’t really matter,” he said. “We’re going to Easter Road so we have to win. It doesn’t matter if we’re 12 points ahead or 12 points behind.”
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