Rangers told new signing will become ‘steal of the century’; January deal still on

Rob McCarthy
Hearts' John Souttar celebrates scoring their side's second goal of the game with team-mate Beni Baningime

Former Hearts boss Craig Levein thinks Rangers have got the “steal of the century” after they agreed a pre-contract with Scotland defender John Souttar.

The 25-year-old will arrive at Ibrox in the summer on a free transfer and, despite being a staunch Jambos man, Levein believes that Souttar has made the correct decision in his quest for silverware.

Levein previously claimed in 2019 that Souttar was unlikely to want to join the Gers. However, his opinion has now changed for a player he rates incredibly highly.

The former Scotland coach told the Scottish Sun: “It’s the steal of the century. But I don’t think anyone can blame John for making this decision given everything he’s been through.

“I had similar injury problems so I completely understand his decision to take this opportunity to secure the future for him and his family.

“Yes, I am a Hearts supporter and a big part of me would have loved it had he stayed.

“But when you’ve had the types of injuries he’s had you don’t know when the curtain will come down.

“In a way I’m glad he’s gone to Rangers too from the point of view that he’ll have the chance to win some trophies. That’s something I never managed in my career.

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“If he then wants to go down to England after that then I’m sure he’ll get that opportunity if he continues his progression.

“I’ve had a couple of conversations with him and it was definitely a big decision for him to make. But I think he’s made the right one.”

There is still a chance that Souttar could actually move to Ibrox this month, rather than the summer.

Hearts are said to be demanding just £500,000 to make the move a permanent one now. That fee looks to be a snip, particularly given Levein’s comments on the player.

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