Hearts want at least £1m to sell defender Callum Paterson after rejecting Wigan Athletic’s £250,000 bid.
The English Championship club offered £250,000 up front last Thursday, with add-ons potentially taking the deal to around £500,000 depending on Paterson’s progress. However, Tynecastle officials refused to do business.
FIFA compensation rules dictate that Hearts are entitled to between £350,000 and £400,000 in a development fee for Paterson, even if he leaves when his contract expires at the end of the season.
Wigan hoped to capitalise on the fact the 21-year-old is in the final year of his deal but Hearts rebuffed the terms offered. Managed by former Hibs and Celtic defender Gary Caldwell, the Lancashire side are expected to return with another offer before the transfer window closes.
Paterson is unlikely to sign an extended contract to remain in Edinburgh. Robbie Neilson, the Hearts head coach, stressed that any club interested in him must match Hearts’ seven-figure valuation before negotiations can begin.
“Callum is one of our key players so we’re not going to sell someone like that on the cheap. He’s a Scotland international, he’s played 150 games here and he scores goals from right-back. Unless an offer comes in that we feel is acceptable, he’ll be staying here.
“It’s up to a team to come in and make an acceptable offer. That’s the case not just for Callum Paterson but every player. Whether it be Conor Sammon, Don Cowie, Arnaud Djoum, Igor Rossi, anybody. The only way a team will get a player from us is if they pay the money we’re prepared to accept.
“Ten or 15 years ago, any offer that came in we’d have to take it. We’re in a great position now financially so we can keep a hold of our assets. I don’t think Callum is unsettled by it. Although he’s young, he’s an experienced boy. He’s played for Scotland, he’s played a lot for Hearts and he’s mature enough to know these things happen in football.
“I had a chat with him last week about it and told him to focus on the game coming up against Inverness. I think you could see on Saturday that he did that.”