By Nick Ware

23rd Nov, 2021 | 1:10pm

Rangers-linked Hearts defender John Souttar can sign pre-contract on December 1

Rangers-linked defender John Souttar is “just days from quitting Hearts for nothing” as his contract enters its final months, according to the Scottish Sun.

Souttar, 25, sees his contract at Tyneside expire at the end of May 2022 but he can sign a pre-contract elsewhere from December 1.

Rangers and Celtic are two of the sides who want to sign the Scottish centre-back who recently announced himself on the international scene with the winner in Scotland’s crucial 1-0 victory over Denmark in World Cup qualifying.

Ibrox-bound?

Souttar made his breakthrough at Dundee United as a 16-year-old and looked to be a star in the making.

He joined Hearts in 2016 but his career never took off as expected and injuries and relegation from the Premiership recently saw his reputation suffer.

However, after Hearts gained promotion back earlier this year, Souttar has established himself once again.

That saw him earn a Scotland recall, and he took his chance earlier this month with a goal against the Danes.

With Rangers currently struggling in defence, Souttar could be a perfect first signing for new manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst.

The Gers currently have Connor Goldson, Leon Balogun, Filip Helander and Jack Simpson as central defensive options, while Nikola Katic is out on loan.

However, the quartet are either struggling for form, old or injured, and a fresh face could revitalise their defence which has suffered massively in the last few months.

In other Rangers news, this Ibrox star was embroiled in an off-the-ball incident with Hibernian’s Ryan Porteous on Sunday.