Stevenson’s Crawley talks

CRAWLEY TOWN have opened pre-contract talks with exiled Hearts midfielder Ryan Stevenson after the Edinburgh club rejected their initial transfer offer for the player.

The English League Two side, previously linked with Rudi Skacel, are keen to lure Stevenson south, but their attempt to sign him during the current transfer window failed when Tynecastle officials dismissed their £20,000 bid.

Steve Evans, Crawley’s Glasgow-born manager, revealed that discussions over a pre-contract agreement have now begun.

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Stevenson remains unavailable for selection at Hearts having walked out in protest at continual late payment of wages.

“I can confirm we have had an offer turned down for Ryan Stevenson,” said Evans. “We have spoken to Hearts and we respect their right to turn down the offer we made. We are some distance apart in what we offered to what [Hearts] wanted, so we will move on to alternative targets we have identified.”