Hearts manager says right price may seal deal for Celtic-linked defender

Hearts boss Robbie Neilson has admitted that the right price may force him to sell John Souttar. The 25-year-old scored the first in Scotland’s 2-0 win over Denmark on Monday and his contract expires in June, meaning that a long list of suitors have emerged for the central defender.

As reported by The Record, Neilson admitted that an offer may force his hand but as it stands, he is looking to extend the stay of the latest Scotland hero beyond the end of next season.

“It depends what the fee is to be honest with you. At this moment in time, he’s a Hearts player and we’re still trying to get him to continue to be a Hearts player.

“We’ll see where it goes. My job is just to make sure he’s ready for Saturday. The better the team does, and the higher up the league they are, it’s harder to keep all the players.

“It’s just part of football and something you have to accept.

“We’re speaking to him. There are a number of players we’re speaking to but that’s the way football is. It goes back and forward, back and forwards. Joe (Savage – Sporting Director) is still dealing with it, still trying to see if we can get some sort of agreement on it.”

Souttar scored against Celtic earlier this season and has been impressive as Hearts were promoted to the Premiership. Despite some horrific injuries, he has battled back to fitness and is finally reaping the rewards. Hearts will hope to tie him down to a new deal but the prospect of interest from Celtic and England will have Souttar considering his options.

Hearts will be desperate to tie down the defender but will know that they may need to sell or face losing him for nothing. Gary Mackay-Steven’s arrival at Celtic from Dundee United and Glen Kamara’s transfer from Dundee to Rangers show that teams can be lowballed after a pre-contract has been agreed. Celtic could, if they wanted, seal a pre-contract with the player and then offer a small fee for him at the end of the window to prise him away.

About Author

Born just as Celtic were stopping the Ten, Lubo98 follows Celtic home and away and helps run his local Celtic Supporters Club. He goes to all the games and is a Law Graduate. Has a particular fondness for Tom Rogic among the current Celts and both Lubo and Henrik form his earliest Celtic memories.

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