Rangers boss Giovanni van Bronckhorst previously indicated that he is prepared to wait until the summer for Souttar, who has signed a pre-contract with the Ibrox club.
But poor defending in their 3-3 draw at Ross County may persuade the cinch Premiership leaders to test Hearts´ resolve with a last-minute offer for the centre-back.
If that happens it will all depend how much money is on the table. Hearts boss Robbie Neilson has repeatedly said Souttar won’t be allowed to go on the cheap, and a fee in excess of £500,000 is likely to be the minimum Hearts would demand for the Scotland international.
Asked after the game on Saturday if there had been any movement on the Souttar situation, Neilson said: “I hope not. There’s been nothing new with John.
“Although I saw they lost three goals [at Ross County] so I might get a phone call. But at this moment in time there’s been nothing.”
“John is fine. He’s left here and he’ll be back in tomorrow. And I expect he’ll be available for Tuesday if he’s still here.”
Another forward is not out of the question.The signing of Ellis Simms on loan from Everton gives Neilson more options in attack, and he is a big step up in quality on the departed Armand Gnanduillet. However, Liam Boyce has had trouble with his calf for a few months and both Boyce and Simms started together against Motherwell, so bringing in another back-up striker could be an option.
Neilson has already said there are plans in place to send youngsters Euan Henderson and Finlay Pollock out on short-term deals in February. Other than that, Hearts are satisfied with the size of their squad for the rest of the season and are unlikely to let anyone else go.