The Gers may not be in pole position to seal back-to-back Scottish Premiership titles thanks to arch-rivals Celtic sitting at the top of the standings, but boss Giovanni van Bronckhorst has already begun preparing for next season.
What’s the latest news involving Souttar?
Van Bronckhorst was appointed as Rangers’ boss in November, following Steven Gerrard’s decision to walk away in favour of the Aston Villa job, and it is clear that the Dutchman was keen to strengthen his defensive options.
That is because, less than two months on from his arrival, he completed the signing of Souttar by tying the Hearts man down to a pre-contract agreement.
Sporting director Ross Wilson hailed Souttar’s acquisition by claiming the centre-half has ‘so much potential ahead for the coming years’.
According to the Daily Record, the 25-year-old was keen to join Rangers ahead of schedule and link-up with van Bronckhorst’s side in January.
However, a mid-season move failed to come to fruition as Hearts revealed they were unwilling to sanction Souttar’s early departure unless ‘a significant and satisfactory offer’ was tabled by the Gers.
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What has Pete O’Rourke said about Souttar?
O’Rourke believes Rangers were shrewd after moving quickly to ensure Souttar will head to Ibrox.
The journalist feels the defender will prove to be an asset for van Bronckhorst, who will be keen to welcome even more fresh faces in the summer.
O’Rourke told GIVEMESPORT: “They already have John Souttar coming in on a free transfer from Hearts, which looks a very astute piece of business.
“Van Bronckhorst obviously came in at a difficult time, when Gerrard left midway through the season. He’s had one transfer window in January, when he brought in the likes of Amad Diallo and Aaron Ramsey. There wasn’t much money spent there at Rangers, although I’m sure those deals cost a few quid because of loan fees and everything else.
“He’ll be hoping to get the backing of the board in the summer transfer window to try and rebuild this team and have it in his own shape rather than Steven Gerrard’s players.”
Why were Rangers keen to sign Souttar?
There were question marks over the long-term future of Connor Goldson during the January transfer window and although he did not secure a switch away from Rangers midway through the season, he is still set to leave Ibrox as his contract will expire on May 31.
Souttar could prove to be an ideal replacement for the 29-year-old as he boasts plenty of Scottish Premiership experience, having featured in the competition on more than 180 occasions.
His Hearts form also resulted in him earning a return to the international set-up earlier this season, with him scoring while securing his fourth Scotland cap against Denmark last November.