Friday, August 12, 2022

Rangers Have Their Bid Rejected For This Hearts Defender: Should They Improve Their Offer?

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Pratyay Maitra
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According to a report from Football Scotland, Hearts have knocked back Rangers’ initial offer of bringing John Souttar to Ibrox before the window is slammed shut. The Scotland international decided not to extend his stay in Edinburgh beyond the current campaign and has signed a pre-contract agreement already with the reigning Premiership champions ahead of a Bosman transfer.

Meanwhile, the Gers are willing to have him this month and submitted a bid of around £300,000 for the 25-year-old centre-back. The Jambos took no time to ‘knock the bid out of the ballpark’ as revealed by Robbie Neilson. Souttar has been resolute in the heart of the backline and the Jam Tarts chief would rather let him leave for nothing in summer over accepting such a minuscule amount from the Glasgow giants.

“We value John very very highly and until that valuation is met then he will be a Hearts player. We are chasing a run in the cup and European football.”

Told Neilson while addressing the reason for Souttar’s omission from the squad against Auchinleck Talbot in the Scottish Cup 4th Round fixture. An ankle injury ruled him out of the tie, however, he is expected to return to action before the upcoming Premiership contests against Celtic and Motherwell.

Rangers target John Souttar playing for Scotland
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND – NOVEMBER 15: John Souttar and Andy Robertson of Scotland are seen at full time during the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifier match between Scotland and Denmark at Hampden Park on November 15, 2021 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images). The 4th Official uses images provided by the following image agency: Getty Images (https://www.gettyimages.de/) and Imago Images (https://www.imago-images.de/).

Why Rangers Should Make Another Attempt Before The Closure Of The Winter Window

The Gers, on the other hand, have been forced to deploy left fullback Calvin Bassey in a makeshift central defensive role. Outcast Jack Simpson is free to leave the club after failing to impress since completing an Ibrox swoop from Bournemouth last winter, whereas Filip Helander has not really been able to cement a starting status due to persistent injury concerns. Leon Balogun will be in his mid-thirties soon, and therefore, can’t be considered anymore as a long-term solution. Ever-present Connor Goldson has not penned a new contract and is likely to part ways upon completion of the ongoing term.

Souttar progressed through the youth ranks of Dundee United and went on to feature 73 times for the Tangerines. He was then roped in by Hearts and despite back to back severe injury nightmares, the Scotsman is back to his very best following their return to the top tier of Scottish football. He holds all the traits to succeed Goldson in the long run, also Giovanni van Bronckhorst must hand on-loan Nikola Katic one more opportunity to get his Rangers career back on track. Winter recruit James Sands is versatile enough to slot in as a centre-half and the Light Blues must be well equipped in deep defence from next season onwards.

Having said that, a January transfer would allow him to settle down in new surroundings before claiming a regular role going forward and it remains to be seen now whether Rangers submit an improved offer for Souttar by the end of this month.

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