Rangers boss Giovanni van Bronckhorst has now turned his attentions towards defender John Souttar as the Ibrox side look to make some further additions in this January transfer window.
According to The Glasgow Times’ Chris Jack, the Gers have now made their move to sign Souttar, whose contract at Hearts comes to an end in the summer.
His report added: “Championship clubs Sheffield United, Blackburn Rovers and Nottingham Forest are all interested in the Scotland defender but Rangers are keen to add Souttar to their ranks amid ongoing doubts over the long-terms futures of several defensive options.
“Van Bronckhorst will be given some of the funds raised from Nathan Patterson’s £12m to Everton as he seeks to put his own stamp on the Ibrox squad. But Souttar has been identified as a key Bosman target to bolster his defensive options and Rangers will attempt to convince him to turn down a move to England this summer.”
With his extensive experience in the Scottish Premiership, and the fact he would be available on a free transfer given his contract expires soon, this has all the hallmarks of being a transfer masterstroke for the Gers.
Former Hearts boss Craig Levein once raved about the centre-back’s combination of defensive prowess and ability on the ball, saying: “I’ve known him since he was 12 years old and he’s just got better and better. When he came here from Dundee Utd, we just needed to give him time. He’s grown into the player that I hoped he would be and for me he’s the best centre back in Scotland.
“Just for the fact that he can do wonderful things. His passing of the ball Saturday was fantastic, but he is also now capable physically of competing with any centre forward. His pace is very, very good and he’s strong, focused and aggressive.”
As per Whoscored, his 77.4% pass accuracy is the second-best of any Hearts defender this season in the Scottish Premiership, while his 58.1 passes per game is the second-best among any of his teammates, regardless of position – exactly the kind of modern-day defender Van Bronckhorst will surely be looking for.
Gers fans will surely be buzzing with signing the 6 foot 1 Souttar on a free.