Ibrox transfer news: Scottish rivals 'digging their heels in' as Rangers eye 6 ft 1 star

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Hearts are ‘desperate not to lose’ star defender John Souttar in the January transfer window amid interest from Rangers, according to journalist Pete O’Rourke

The highly-rated 25-year-old has been heavily linked with a move to Ibrox in recent weeks following a string of impressive performances but his boyhood club are reportedly keen to retain his services. 

What is the latest news involving Souttar?

According to the Scottish Sun, Souttar has attracted the attention of Championship duo Blackburn Rovers and Sheffield United alongside the Gers as the race for his signature hots up. 

The report claims that the centre-back has had a tour of the two English clubs as he weighs up his next move, but it’s the Glasgow giants who appear to be the frontrunners at this moment in time. 

It was former manager Steven Gerrard who first indicated an interest in the 6 foot 1 gem, and his departure for Aston Villa left Souttar wondering if the new boss would retain an interest in his services. 

However, Giovanni van Bronckhorst is also believed to be keen on the Scotland international, who is now seriously considering the idea of staying in his homeland. 

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ENTER GIVEAWAY

With just six months remaining on his current contract, Hearts must decide whether to cash in on their prized asset this month or allow him to leave on a free transfer over the summer. 

And it seems as though head coach Robbie Neilson is determined to keep hold of Souttar until the end of the season as the capital club go in search of European football. 

What has O’Rourke said about Souttar?

The Jambos are currently sitting in third place in the Scottish Premiership table after 20 games of the campaign, and losing Souttar could be extremely damaging to their future prospects. 

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As per WhoScored, the wantaway gem has been Hearts’ standout performer throughout 2021/22, achieving a rating of 7.24, and O’Rourke has revealed his boyhood club are ‘digging their heels in’ over his potential departure as a result. 

He told GiveMeSport: “Hearts are desperate not to lose him this month and are digging their heels in. There’s lots of interest in him, not just from Rangers.”

Do Rangers need another centre-back?

Although Rangers have only conceded 14 goals in the league so far this season, Van Bronckhorst may be forced to make some alterations to his centre-back options over the next two transfer windows. 

Connor Goldson is out of contract in the summer as is Leon Balogun, although the reigning champions do have the option to extend the 33-year-old’s deal by another year. 

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Meanwhile, summer signing Jack Simpson has failed to settle at Rangers, featuring in just 205 minutes of action in all competitions this term. 

Therefore, a new centre-back may well be high up on Van Bronckhorst’s wish list, and Souttar could be an ideal candidate. 

Read More – January Transfer Window 2022: When does it open, when does it close and which players are going to move?

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