An update has emerged involving Rangers and their attempts to add a defender to Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s squad…
According to the Edinburgh News, the Gers are confident of being able to complete a pre-contract deal to sign John Souttar.
The report claims that they have tabled their offer as they look to compete with English Championship duo Blackburn and Sheffield United, with a decision set to be made by the Hearts defender in the coming days.
Indeed, Sky Sports published a fresh update on the rumour this morning, claiming that the Gers are set to sign the 25-year-old on a pre-contract deal.
Firstly, Van Bronckhorst will be over the moon with this news, as Rangers seem poised to win the race for Souttar. This would mean that he will join in the summer when his contract with Hearts expires, arriving on a free transfer.
The move would come at the perfect time for the Gers as Connor Goldson’s deal at Ibrox is up at the end of the season. There has been no reported movement on the latter’s situation, which means that he is poised to depart for nothing in July, leaving Rangers without their first-choice centre-back.
Goldson has been partnering Calvin Bassey since Van Bronckhorst arrived, and the Dutchman can form a perfect pairing at the back by bringing in Souttar and playing him next to the former Leicester defender.
Former Hearts boss Craig Levein was previously full of praise for the 6 foot 1 Scotland colossus, 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.”
Whilst Bassey is a naturally left-footed defender with the technical ability to bring the ball out from the back, having also played at left-back; Souttar is a right-footed player who is strong in aerial duels and likes to be aggressive in the challenge. The Hearts defender has won 71% of his duels this season, winning 3.2 aerial battles and making 4.4 clearances per game.
This suggests that they could complement each other well, with Souttar able to push up on strikers and compete physically whilst allowing Bassey to drop off and cover in behind and then be the one to progress the play in possession. Therefore, Van Bronckhorst could seal a perfect partnership by clinching this pre-contract deal.