Robbie Neilson tells Rangers to pay up for John Souttar after Hearts reject bid

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Robbie Neilson has told Rangers they must meet Hearts’ valuation after the Edinburgh club rejected an offer for John Souttar.

Rangers have offered £300,000 to sign the Scotland defender now after capturing his signature on a pre-contract agreement which takes effect this summer.

Hearts value Souttar considerably higher and want at least £500,000 to do a deal this month. Talks are continuing after Souttar missed the Edinburgh club’s 5-0 Scottish Cup win at Auchinleck Talbot.

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"We’ve had a bid in, which has been knocked out the ballpark, so we will wait and see if anything else comes in,” said Neilson, the Hearts manager.

Hearts manager Robbie Neilson at Auchinleck.Hearts manager Robbie Neilson at Auchinleck.
Hearts manager Robbie Neilson at Auchinleck.

“We value John very, very highly and if anyone is going to take him in this window, they are going to need to pay for him because we are aiming for the Scottish Cup and European football and we need to keep our best players.

“John had a problem with his ankle after the game the other night. I know everybody thinks it is to do with what is happening, but it was on his Achilles and we felt there was no point in bringing him down here. He will be available for Wednesday – until things change.”

Two Liam Boyce goals plus others from Andy Halliday, Peter Haring and Alex Cochrane secured Hearts’ passage to the Scottish Cup fifth round.

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“I came down here last week to watch Auchinleck against Irvine Meadow and I knew it was going to be a tough game. Tommy Sloan has been here for 16 or 17 years and built one of the best Junior teams in a long time,” said Neilson. “To win the way we played is very pleasing.

“I think the officials will be taking a couple of panadol and having an early night,” smirked Neilson. “We didn’t let it get to us and it shows what a strong team we have here.

“We want to try and get as far as we can in this competition and I spoke to them before the game about how you have to get over different challenges.

“Last season [losing to Brora Rangers] was a tough, tough one to take and we have a lot of making up to do. Hopefully, we have done a wee bit but we want to go all the way.”

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