Hearts boss Robbie Neilson has insisted to the Daily Record that centre back John Souttar isn’t going anywhere unless interested parties make big money bids for the player this coming January.
The 25-year-old is said top be a prime target for Blackburn Rovers ahead of the upcoming transfer window and is a player that has been on Tony Mowbray’s wish list for quite some time.
Souttar is set to see his current contract at Tynecastle expire come the end of the campaign, thus heightening the possibility that he could either leave for a fee in January or for absolutely nothing next summer.
Now Neilson has been quick to state that the Scottish club won’t be allowing any of their best players to leave next month, unless it’s for a substantial fee:
“We’ve obviously got a number of players out of contract but we’re not in a situation where we need to sell them.
“I’ve had a chat with sporting director Joe Savage and the board. And we know that, unless somebody comes in willing to pay really big money for somebody, they’ll stay here until the end of the season because the objective this season is to get into Europe.”
Quiz: Can you name which club Blackburn Rovers sold these 26 players to?
Souttar has been almost ever present for the Jambos so far this season, making 22 appearances across all competitions whilst also notching up three goals.
The defender has played out his entire career to date in Scotland, having previously risen through the academy ranks at Dundee United.
This news will come as a small blow for Rovers, who remain very keen on bringing Souttar to Ewood Park at some stage next year.
They will no doubt be relaxed about the situation as they are sure to be open to just acquiring him on a pre-contract agreement rather than being drawn into a January bidding war.
As long as they get their man, the manner of the transfer itself shouldn’t matter too much in the grand scheme of things.
Souttar will no doubt be aware of their interest and will now have to decide if he sees his future with the Lancashire side or not.