Photo by Steve Welsh/Getty Images

Hearts and Scotland hero John Souttar is a transfer target for Scottish Premiership rivals Rangers, according to the Scottish Daily Mail (17 November, page 83), as well as Middlesbrough, Stoke City and Blackburn Rovers south of the border. 

On a day in which his younger brother Harry was ruled out for up to 12 months with a cruelly timed ACL rupture, the elder Souttar sibling put his own injury problems behind him during what was one of the finest nights of his career. 

Souttar’s first international goal – in his first cap since 2018 no less – set Scotland on their way to a 2-0 victory over a Denmark side that had blown away all-comers in World Cup qualifying.

That was until they dared to enter the bear pit of Hampden Park, of course.

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And you’d need a heart of stone – or a Hibernian season ticket perhaps – to begrudge Souttar his moment in the sun after two years wasted on the treatment table. 

That ‘injury prone’ tag is a difficult one to shake, however.

Eyebrows may be raised on the blue half of Glasgow, then, with The Mail reporting reigning champions Rangers are eyeing a bid for a 25-year-old centre-back due to become a free agent at the end of this season. 

Rangers eye Hearts and Scotland star John Souttar

Rangers have two out-of-contract defenders in their ranks – Connor Goldson and Leon Balogun – so it makes sense a centre-half is high on their transfer hit-list. 

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

The report does add, however, that Souttar would prefer to join his younger brother south of the border than leave Hearts for a Premiership rival. And he’s not short of offers either, with a host of second-tier clubs – including Blackburn, Middlesbrough and Harry’s Stoke City – expressing an interest. 

Hearts may have little choice but to cash in on their long-serving stopper in the January window, although it’s believed they won’t consider bids below £500,000. 

Interestingly, Souttar was also linked with a move to Ibrox in 2019, with then-Rangers manager Steven Gerrard admitting the centre-half was a “player I admire”. 

Photo by ANDY BUCHANAN/AFP via Getty Images

In other news, Agent says Newcastle want £20m Everton target, negotiations advanced