By George Overhill

23rd Jan, 2022 | 4:32pm

BBC pundit shares price he's heard for Rangers to get John Souttar now

Craig Levein believes that Rangers will have to pay over £600,000 to bring Hearts defender John Souttar to Ibrox this month.

It was reported yesterday that Gers’ bid of £300,000 had been rejected by the Edinburgh side (Football Scotland) for the man who has already signed a pre-contract to make the move in the summer.

And former Jambos manager Levein thinks that bid was nowhere near what it will take, telling BBC Sportsound, via The Daily Record: “I heard that it’s more than the double the £300,000 offer that Hearts are holding out for. He’s under contract.

“It’s like anything. If you are buying a house then you make your mind up on how much you want to pay.

“Hearts are quite within their rights and if they don’t want to let him go for the money Rangers are offering then John will have to suck it up and play as well as he can until the end of the season.

“But it’s just about getting to the number they want”.

Big decision

Rangers will surely be hoping that having got the deal half-closed already by securing the free transfer at the end of the season, Hearts will be happy to get any fee for the Scotland international.

But those in charge at Tynecastle have a tricky balance to strike in their decision over whether to let him go this month.

Not only do they have to weigh up how much the player is worth over the final months of the season, and how their finishing position would be affected, they have to consider to what extent the public knowledge that Souttar is leaving will negate the gain in keeping him around.

On top of that they will not want to be seen to be capitulating to the Glasgow side who have already flexed their muscles by taking what former teammate Gary Mackay-Steven has previously called “an amazing player” whose “attitude is first class” (Daily Record).

Gers surely want him as soon as possible, especially after they had a slight shock on return from the winter break by dropping points at Aberdeen.

If the price ends up being the same amount now as it would have been before they got the defender’s signature on the pre-contract they may decide to just wait out the duration of his current deal.

In other Rangers news, this Celtic legend has reacted to the refereeing controversies from the draw at Pittodrie.