Should Jota snag convince Derby County to renew bargain deal for Heart's Jamie Walker?

Derby manager Gary Rowett

Hearts may sell Jamie Walker for £1m - a lot less than Brentford are demanding for reported Derby County target Jota.

Hearts are so determined to hang onto Jamie Walker this summer that they will offer the winger a bumper deal to make him the highest paid player at Tynecastle, as reported by the Scottish Sun.

Manager Ian Cathro has no desire to let the 24-year-old leave after he netted 15 goals in a remarkable individual campaign across 2016/17.

The report adds that Scottish Premiership rivals Rangers will return with a fourth offer for Walker sooner rather than later but, until their £1 million valuation is met, the attacker will not be going anywhere.

Hearts' Jamie Walker celebrates scoring their second goalJamie Walker enjoyed the best season of his career in 2016/17

However, while a seven-figure sum would require Rangers to dig deep into their pockets, Derby County would have little difficulty meeting the Edinburgh club’s demands.

According to the Derby Telegraph, former Rams boss Steve McClaren watched Walker on a number of occasions early last season but it appears that reports linking him with a move to Pride Park have dried up of late. Yet, perhaps managerial successor Gary Rowett should consider continuing where McClaren left off.

Cheap alternative

After all, Rowett told the Derby Telegraph that he wants ‘different attacking options’ at Derby County and its fair to say none of the widemen at his disposal can boast a goal record as impressive as Walker’s.

Furthermore, although Walker is unproven in the English second tier, he would be a cheaper and more realistic transfer target than Jota, who The Sun claim Derby had hoped to land for £6 million deal.

Brentford's Jota celebrates after the matchJota netted 12 goals in 19 starts last season

Brentford manager Dean Smith, who brought Jota back to the club in January after an unsuccessful loan spell with Eibar, stated recently that the Spaniard had no interest in signing for another Championship club, per the Nottingham Post.

Therefore, if it’s a goalscoring winger Rowett wants, continuing McClaren’s good work and making a late move for Walker wouldn’t be a bad idea.

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