Photo by Steve Welsh/Getty Images

Former Hearts ace Andrew Driver has sent a warning to John Souttar amid reports linking the Scotland international with Premiership giants Celtic and Rangers, speaking to the Scarves Around the Funnel podcast. 

After 18 months of injury hell, who would blame Souttar for jumping at the chance to seal a life-changing move to one of the biggest and most historic clubs in European football, let alone Scotland? 

The 25-year-old centre-back will be a free agent next summer after all. 

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Celtic get no favours from the SPFL, as December schedule gets even tougher
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And, according to The Sun, Souttar could sign a pre-contract with Ange Postecoglou’s Celtic as early as January.

Reigning champions Rangers are interested too, though it remains to be seen whether new manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst would prefer to look closer to home for defensive additions. 

But former England U21 international Driver knows first-hand that, sometimes, the grass is not always greener elsewhere.

The winger came very close to joining Burnley in the summer of 2010. But, after opting to stay put at Tynecastle, he was a major part of the Hearts side which claimed the Scottish Cup just two years later. 

Should John Souttar reject Celtic and Rangers to stay at Hearts?

“That’s the one thing you could say to John Souttar if you gave advice, Hearts are a massive club,” says Driver, who would eventually leave the Edinburgh giants for a spell across the Atlantic with Houston Dynamo.

Photo by Steve Welsh/Getty Images

“You don’t actually realise how big it is until you go elsewhere. As a player, if you want to get attention and feel wanted, then Hearts is the best place. 

“If he feels that he can keep improving then you can’t beat Hearts because you get so much media attention – it’s a great place to be. 

“It wouldn’t the worst thing to stay for another year and continue to get fit. He’s obviously doing class, isn’t he?” 

Speaking last week, Hearts boss Robbie Neilson admitted that the club may have no choice but to cash in on Souttar – comments that did not exactly go down well with the Tynecastle faithful. 

Souttar scored the winner in Hearts’ Premiership opener against Celtic in August and found the net again as Scotland defeated an all-conquering Denmark in World Cup qualifying last week.

It is understood that Hearts will demand a minimum of £500,000.

Photo by ANDY BUCHANAN/AFP via Getty Images

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