By Daniel Feliciano

7th Jan, 2022 | 8:40pm

Sheffield United boss admits he will compete with Rangers for John Souttar

Rangers face competition to sign John Souttar from Hearts after Sheffield United manager Paul Heckingbottom admitted his interest in the defender.

The Ibrox side have been linked with a move for the 25-year-old central defender, with a free transfer for the summer mooted after Souttar rejected a new deal with Hearts.

He is now in the final six months of his deal and has attracted interest from several clubs including Rangers, Sheffield United, Stoke, Middlesbrough and Blackburn.

After it was claimed that Rangers had ‘made their move’ for the defender [Glasgow Times], who reportedly prefers a move to England [Edinburgh News], the Blades boss has now made his interest in the player public during a press conference [Daily Record].

“He’s one of a few that we have been looking at,” he said. “We highlighted positions we need players in and he’s one in that position.

“We would be foolish not to have a look at him, he’s a free transfer in the summer.

“I am not going to say if we are going to do it but certainly someone we have looked at.

“I know him from my time in Scotland a good player and I am sure we will be linked with more players, some will be right and some will be way off the mark.”

Competition

Rangers have their eye on the ‘fantastic‘ defender after a string of top performances following his recovery from three serious injuries.

It was always expected that a deal would be tough to do, with several interested parties but when Rangers made their move it showed that they were serious about their own intentions.

They can offer regular competition for trophies in Scotland while European football is back on the table now too.

With players such as Chris Goldson likely to leave in the summer a move for Souttar makes sense, but if they can get a deal done early and get him in during the winter window then it will only boost their chances of retaining the Scottish Premiership title.

They face stiff competition from other good sides, but they’re by far the biggest and most successful in the hunt and should feel confident of getting a deal done.

In other Rangers news, club have ‘made their move’ for ‘fantastic’ defender.