Hearts boss Ian Cathro has told Rangers they will not be able to sign Jamie Walker unless they meet the Tynecastle club’s £1million price tag.
The Ibrox side had verbal offer of £500,000 rejected out of hand by Hearts for the 23-year-old, who netted 15 goals last season.
Walker is out of contract at the end of next season and has already told the club he won’t be signing a new deal.
However, Cathro insists Hearts will not be bullied into selling the player well short of his market value.
He told STV: “I think it depends on a lot of aspects. When you look at the market I don’t think you can bring Jamie to your club for anything less than £1m.
“But you also see [similar] players, maybe because they are at different clubs, going for more like £3m. The market can be a funny thing at times.
“Jamie is one of the most talent players in the country. Depending on how he works, he can go on to play at a very, very high level in the game.
“He will not be leaving here for anything other than a value which reflects that.
“Naturally we want to have him in our team so if there are going to be circumstances which take him away then they have to reflect the level of quality and potential of the player.
“My understanding is there has been nothing of the sort.”
Despite Walker expressing his desire to play elsewhere, the Hearts head coach insists he still wants the midfielder in his first-team squad for next season.
“We understand the quality of player that we have and as his coach I look forward to continuing to work with him.
“The players return tomorrow and I’ll be the first one to shake his hand and welcome him back to work.”