John Souttar: Rangers set to sign Hearts defender on pre-contract | Football News

Rangers are close to a move to sign Hearts defender John Soutar on a pre-contract.

The Scottish international’s contract expires this summer and several English Premier League clubs want him, including Blackburn Rovers.

However, after initial talks with Rangers, Souttar is now expected to join the Scottish Premier League champions.

Sky Sports News He understands that the 25-year-old is keen on the permanent transition scheduled for this month.

Soutar made more than 150 appearances for Tynecastle Park, six years after joining from Dundee United.

After several serious injuries, Sutter has played all but two of the Premier League games this season and his impressive performance has seen Scotland recover.

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Soutar crowned an emotional return to the Scottish national team with a goal against Denmark, three years after his last participation with his country.

Nelson: Hearts won’t sell Sutter

Speaking earlier in the season, manager Robbie Nelson insisted that Hearts won’t benefit from Sutter this month unless they receive a “huge” offer during the transfer window.

He said: “From our point of view, he is here until the end of the season unless we get an offer that we cannot refuse.

“If he decides it’s time to move on, it will take a huge January bid for that to happen, or he will terminate his contract and hopefully leave happy.

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Speaking in November, Hearts chief Robbie Nelson said just a ‘huge bid’ would tempt the club to sell Sutter in January.

“He’s a key player that we hope will help us finish the league as high as possible and go as far as possible in the cup, so you have to balance the two sides and say ‘what saves him? [until the end of the season] Deserve?’ and “What is the transfer value?”

“From my point of view as a coach, I will strive to keep him here for as long as possible because he is an essential part of the team.”

Nelson made it clear that there were contingency plans in the event Soutar leaves.

He said: “We always have a number of players in each position that we line up if anything happens. We will have one goal, two goals, three goals in each position, so we know what we will do if any player leaves.”

What might Soutar bring to the Rangers?

Sutar’s ability to lead by example and be an imposing figure on the field is there for all to see.

Returning to Hearts’ first Premier League game of the season, the defender helped his team run on both ends of the pitch as they beat Celtic 2-1.

Some gritty volleys, well-timed tackles and an ability to steer his fellow defenders through the match were impressive – as was his desire to have a cross finish to head home the winner in the 89th minute.

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Soutar scored a late header to stun Celtic to win at Tynecastle Park

This presence in the attacking direction will excite the fans of Rangers and set-piece specialists James Tavernier and Borna Parisic.

Rangers’ sporting director, Ross Wilson, has often spoken of the need to think forward about hiring, and the move also shows that the club continues to advance in the field.

With uncertainty over the future of Conor Goldson – who has yet to agree to a new deal after the end of this season – Sutter could replace the England man.

Ibrox lead the Premier League with six points but this move shows they are already planning for the future under Giovanni van Bronckhorst.

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