Hearts have rejected a second offer from Wigan Athletic for Callum Paterson and show no sign of wavering in the face of the English Championship club’s bid to land the Scotland internationalist for less than their valuation.
The Latics, who made their first move for the 21-year-old right-back last week, came back with a fresh bid of £550,000 plus add-ons. The Tynecastle club are in a sound financial position, however, and are of no mind to sell Paterson for any less than £1.2 million – as a straight-up fee – even though he is out of contract next summer and available to sign a pre-contract in January.
Hearts’ decision to throw out the latest bid is set to end Wigan’s hopes of landing the homegrown academy product, with Gary Caldwell’s side unlikely to meet their asking price. It also heightens the chances of Paterson remaining with his boyhood club beyond this transfer window, which closes next Wednesday.
Few English clubs outwith the top flight are currently of a mind to pay a seven-figure transfer fee for a full-back, especially one from Scotland who has less than a year on his contract. Although there is interest in Paterson, most clubs are of a mind to take their chances and wait to land him on a pre-contract. In doing this, they will pay ¤360,000 (circa £300,000) in compensation to the club which signed him from Tynecastle Boys Club six years ago.
While it is widely accepted that Paterson, who has not signed a new contract with Hearts, will be on his way out of the club at some point in the next nine months, he is currently viewed as an integral member of Robbie Neilson’s squad as they look to establish themselves at the top end of the Scottish Premiership this term.
Paterson, who has scored 31 goals in more than 140 appearances for Hearts, was this week named in the Scotland squad for the upcoming World Cup qualifier against Malta. He won his first cap for the national team in the June defeat against Italy.