According to The Daily Record, Glasgow Rangers Director of Football Mark Allen and Steven Gerrard have targeted Hearts defender John Souttar as a possible centre-half target.

He signed for Hearts in February 2016 from Scottish Premiership side Dundee United, after playing in 73 matches for the Tangerines.

The 22-year-old settled well at the Edinburgh club and Souttar was happy playing alongside his experienced Hearts centre half Christophe Berra.

Berra has been brilliant to play with and has helped him immensely and Souttar responded exceptionally well to all his promptings.

Souttar was playing with terrific confidence and his form was splendid for a local Scottish defender performing in the too often, rough tackling SPFL.

He was picked by Alex McLeish to play for Scotland and right up until the Rangers interest broke in the news, his career was truly on the ascendency.

Unfortunately, his erratic recent form seems to have affected him badly by all of the Rangers speculation of taking him to to a giant club next season. Is it too big a step?

Would the move be too enormous for Souttar to handle at this early stage of his career? Ibrox is not an easy place to be guaranteed a starting place under the hard to please Gerrard.

The youngster certainly hasn’t covered himself in any great glory, since he was linked to joining Rangers a few weeks ago.

If Gerrard genuinely wants him to steady a shaky defence, then watching him recently has to be very worrying for him and the Ibrox club.

It wouldn’t surprise me if Allen and Gerrard are having second thoughts about signing him, and will surely have to review the situation.

If there was no fee involved you could take a risk with Souttar, but when several millions are being spoken about – no chance!

He was average at best against Rangers at Tynecastle in Hearts’ 3-1 defeat, when Jermain Defoe ran riot, and he didn’t look anything like a top-class centre-back.

In the 1-1 draw against Hibernian in Leith on Sunday, Souttar’s reported value of around £5 million looked like a ludicrous asking price for Rangers to pay for his services.

On Sunday, it was a real sloppy performance from Souttar, which must have disappointed the Jambos in the crowd, as they have become used to better from him.

At 22 there is a lot of time for Souttar to settle down and get back to his usual consistent self and to re-establish himself as a quality centre back next season at Hearts.

It would be better if he stayed at Hearts to gain more experience with lots of first team starts, and to help his team challenge for league and cup games.


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