By Daniel Feliciano

17th Jan, 2022 | 2:10pm

View: Giovanni van Bronckhorst drops major John Souttar hint as permanent January move targeted

Giovanni van Bronckhorst has dropped the biggest hint yet that John Souttar won’t be joining Rangers this month, as he spoke on his transfer in a press conference.

Souttar completed a pre-contract agreement with the Bears last week, confirming that he will continue his career in Scotland once his deal with Hearts expires at the end of the season.

But reports have suggested that both Rangers and Souttar want to get a deal done to bring him in this month [Barry Anderson], although Hearts have made it clear it will take a ‘significant and satisfactory‘ offer to convince them to part ways this month.

While speaking in a pre-game press conference ahead of Rangers’ game against Aberdeen on Tuesday, van Bronckhorst spoke about the transfer and hinted heavily about a move this month.

“I am happy that John (Souttar) will be joining us,” he said. “A top Scottish international and I look forward to him joining us next season.”

The end part of that sentence is what catches the eye, as GvB makes zero mention of trying to get him earlier and seemingly being settled to take him in the summer.

Currently, Rangers have centre-back options in abundance with all of Conor Goldson, Leon Balogun, Calvin Bassey, Filip Helander and Jack Simpson able to play in that position.

But of those options, three of their futures are far from secure and Van Bronckhorst and the club have been forced to look into solutions just in case.

While Souttar would be a boost to the squad this month for their upcoming title run-in, he isn’t necessarily needed this season as it stands.

So it’s understandable that Rangers aren’t willing to pay a large fee for a player who they have already been able to secure for next season’s squad.

It will cause more problems at Hearts than it will at Ibrox, with the player clearly keen to leave and hopeful of a move this month. But Rangers are under no pressure to bring him in early if the deal isn’t right.

It seems as though the club have made their decision for now, and Van Bronckhorst has sent that message in a clear way while also being very cryptic.

In other Rangers news, Rangers want to sign ‘brightest talent to come out of club in recent memory’ – report