Hearts fear target John Souttar may opt for England

John Souttar's contract with Dundee United expires at the end of the season
John Souttar's contract with Dundee United expires at the end of the season
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HEARTS fear John Souttar will head to England after Dundee United rejected the Edinburgh club’s offer of more than £100,000.

Blackburn Rovers want to take the 19-year-old south and, although Hearts may bid again, Rovers and others have greater financial power.

Tynecastle officials have long admired Souttar and would like to lure him to the Capital before the transfer window closes on Monday night. However, they are wary of interest from England and the cash lure of the Sky Bet Championship.

Souttar’s United contract expires at the end of the season and he is expected to leave Tannadice to continue his career elsewhere. Hearts put an offer in excess of £100,000 to the Dundee United board, which was rejected. Blackburn are also believed to have been unsuccessful with a similar proposal.

United may choose to cash in on Souttar now if they receive an offer they deem acceptable. The teenager is available to sign on a pre-contract agreement, but Hearts and other clubs are wary of the development fee United could claim for a player who came through their youth system from the age of nine –hence the urgency to reach a deal during this transfer window.

United would prefer a fee for Souttar rather than lose him for nothing. Hearts see him as a young player with huge potential, but have stated many times that they will not pay inflated fees or wages for transfer targets.