Thursday, March 30, 2023

Rangers Keeping Close Tabs On In-Demand Hearts Defender: Why They Must Step Up The Chase

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Pratyay Maitra
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If a report from the Mail (as cited by the Daily Record) is believed to be true, Rangers are one of the many outfits to keep close tabs on Hearts star John Souttar. The 25-year-old centre-back has already entered the final year of his Tynecastle contract and is free to talk to his suitors over a potential Bosman move once the season is over.

The Scotland international is drawing interest from an array of English Championship outfits including Stoke City and Blackburn Rovers. Stoke already have John’s sibling Harry Souttar in their ranks who has flourished significantly under the tutelage of Michael O’Neill. Meanwhile, a host of Premier League clubs are eyeing a swoop for the Potters’ centre-half and the gaffer seems to have identified his elder brother as the immediate successor in Staffordshire.

While the player is free to pen a pre-contract agreement during winter, the Gers must make an attempt to rope in the defender and stop him from travelling south of the border. They are already sweating over the future of Connor Goldson who has not extended his stay yet beyond the current campaign and Souttar, with ample Premiership experience under his belt, would be a quality addition. Injuries hindered his progress time and again, however, the Scotsman stood strong with sheer determination and came back sharper on every occasion.

Rangers target John Souttar In action against Celtic
EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND – JULY 31: James Forrest of Celtic battles for possession with John Souttar of Heart of Midlothian during the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership match between Heart of Midlothian and Celtic at Tynecastle Park on July 31, 2021 in Edinburgh, Scotland. (Photo by Steve Welsh/Getty Images) The 4th Official uses images provided by the following image agency: Getty Images ( and Imago Images (

Why Rangers Needs A Defender Of Souttar’s Profile In Their Ranks

Rangers might undergo a defensive crisis in the coming days irrespective of Goldson’s future. Leon Balogun would be 34 next season, whereas the other central defensive option Jack Simpson has not been able to live up to expectations. Filip Helander has been resilient alongside Goldson, but the Swedish centre-back could not cement a place due to persistent injury problems.

Calvin Bassey is more efficient as an aggressive left fullback, also the future of Nikola Katic is hanging in the balance as the Croatian (currently on loan at Hajduk Split) is working towards reclaiming his place in the manager’s plan since suffering a severe knee injury more than a year back.

The Light Blues have been spot on in terms of signing talents and experienced individuals on Bosman. Joe Aribo, John Lundstram, Steven Davis, Fashion Sakala, Scott Arfield, Allan McGregor, Jon McLaughlin, Calvin Bassey, Leon Balogun, Jermain Defoe and many more joined the Gers as free agents during Gerrard’s regime. They would like to pull off a similar victory in the transfer market but, at the same time, might struggle to achieve the same due to the allurement of English football.

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