CRAIG LEVEIN today told Rangers they won’t get Jason Holt for free after the midfielder began training at Murray Park.
Hearts are due compensation after bringing the 22-year-old through their youth academy and are willing to do a deal should Holt impress in Glasgow. New Rangers manager Mark Warburton wants to sign a creative, attacking midfielder and welcomed Holt at training yesterday morning. Rangers must agree a development fee with Levein, Hearts’ director of football, before they can sign the player.
Holt is out of contract at Tynecastle and the development fee being the only payment due. He is being assessed by Warburton and assistant manager David Weir, who want to reinforce Rangers’ squad and gain promotion from the Scottish Championship this season.
Levein said: “They won’t get him for nothing. The rules are there for compensation. That’s a discussion if Rangers want to take him and that will have to take place. First and foremost, it would be good to see him back playing.”
Holt scored five goals in 17 games on loan at Sheffield United during the second half of last season. He left Hearts hoping for more regular game time and now has the opportunity to prove himself to the Rangers management team and secure a contract.
Levein admitted he understood the player’s wish to play more having been a squad player last year at Tynecastle.
“These things are always difficult,” he said. “If you’ve got good players, depending on how strong the team is and other players are, it’s difficult to get them in. He wants to play and at his age I completely understand that.
“Jason is a good player. I just think at the period of time, in the position he plays, other people were more likely to start than he was. Jason’s a really good player and he’s training with Rangers. I hope that works out for him. He’s a good kid. It’s up to Jason and Rangers what kind of impact he makes, if he can get in there and get a regular place.
“I wish him all the best because he’s a good kid, but I’m not too worried about how Rangers get on next year.”