John Souttar has ankle treatment but Robbie Neilson expects him to be available to face Celtic

John Souttar’s place in the Hearts team to face Celtic on Wednesday remains in doubt amid speculation that Rangers will make another bid to take the defender immediately.

Monday, 24th January 2022, 3:56 pm

The 25-year-old missed Saturday's 5-0 Scottish Cup win against Auchinleck Talbot after news emerged of a failed offer from Ibrox, and although he trained today ahead of Celtic' s visit manager Robbie Neilson also said he received treatment on an ankle knock.

That was also the reason given for his absence on Saturday, but Neilson insisted he expects Souttar to be available for selection to face Celtic in the cinch Premiership clash at Tynecastle.

Neilson said: "John trained [on Monday] so he will get a bit of treatment on his ankle and I expect him to be available for Wednesday."

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John Souttar training with Hearts this morning

Souttar has signed a pre-contract agreement to join Rangers and it remains to be seen whether the Premiership leaders will return with another offer in January.

"We shall wait and see," Neilson said. "There was an offer, it got knocked back, and that's it done.

"We are just focused on the game, all eyes are on Celtic now. It doesn't really bother us at all."

Hearts are looking to repeat their opening-day win over Celtic and Neilson has urged his players to set their sights on catching Ange Postecoglou's side.

Hearts assistant manager Lee McCulloch shares a light-hearted moment with Rangers-bound defender John Souttar during training today

"Celtic are very, very good team but we have a home game against them now, and if we can pick up three points we will go within six of them and it keeps us closer," he said.

"We speak to the players all the time about looking up the way and not looking behind us. If we can aim for the two teams at the top of the league, we don't need to worry about what's coming behind.

"We got a great result at the start of the season and we hope to do it again.

"We will have 19,000 Jambos there and it will be a brilliant atmosphere. We believe we can go and win and if we get a result it sets us up for the next few games, which will be tough.

Josh Ginelly and John Souttar training with Hearts today

"We have to play to the best of our ability, we understand that, but we have managed to do that a few times this season."

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