Celtic told it will take "huge bid" to land impressive defender in January
Celtic and other clubs have been told by Hearts manager Robbie Neilson it will take a ‘huge bid’ to land John Souttar in the January transfer window.
It has been reported as recently as this week that the Bhoys are one of the clubs interested in securing Souttar’s services after he returned from serious injury to find form for both Hearts and Scotland.
Outlets such as Football Scotland reported it would take a fee as low as £500,000 to sign him up in the upcoming transfer window.
However, in comments to Sky Sports, Neilson insists that Hearts will be looking for an offer they can’t refuse, saying: “Obviously there is interest because he has come back to really good form and fitness, and played for Scotland and scored the goal.
“From our perspective, he’s got a contract until the end of the season, and unless we get a bid we can’t refuse he will be here until at least the end of the season. The owner and Joe Savage have been speaking to him and we feel we have put together a very good contract for him so it’s just negotiating that now.
“John is coming into a period of his contract where he can speak to other teams, but at this moment in time, he is still a Hearts player. If he does decide to leave, it will take a huge bid in January or he will see out his contract and everyone will leave happy.”
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Souttar has an expiring contract, as noted by Neilson, so ultimately the player himself has the power in this situation. If he decides to sign a contract at Celtic, Rangers or any of the other interested parties then Hearts will be forced to the negotiating table.
However, it sounds like the Tynecastle club will play hard ball when it comes to an early exit, preferring to use his services until the end of the season than cash in.
So while Souttar may end up signing somewhere for a bargain fee, that club may be left waiting on getting him involved.