Hearts 'want substantial increase in Rangers fee for immediate John Souttar transfer'

Former Hearts manager Craig Levein claims that the Tynecastle club are looking for more than £600,000 from Rangers for defender John Souttar.
John Souttar has signed a pre-contract with Rangers.John Souttar has signed a pre-contract with Rangers.
John Souttar has signed a pre-contract with Rangers.

The 25-year-old centre-half has signed a pre-contract with the defending cinch Premiership champions and will move to Ibrox for free in June.

However, Rangers want to have Souttar in the building now and had a bid – believed to be £300,000 – rejected by Hearts earlier in the week.

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Souttar missed Hearts’ 5-0 Scottish Cup win over Auchinleck Talbot, with Hearts insisting it was down to an ankle injury, and Levein believes Hearts will hold out for a bigger fee from the Glasgow outfit.

“I heard that it’s more than the double the £300,000 offer that Hearts are holding out for,” said Levein. “He’s under contract.

“It’s like anything. If you are buying a house then you make your mind up on how much you want to pay.

“Hearts are quite within their rights and if they don’t want to let him go for the money Rangers are offering then John will have to suck it up and play as well as he can until the end of the season.

“I honestly think that if the deal does get done then it will get done at that point and I don’t think Hearts will want to keep a hold of him for one particular match."

Levein added on BBC Radio Scotland: “But it’s just about getting to the number they want and if Rangers can’t do that then John will be playing for Hearts until the end of the season.”

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