Craig Levein: Rangers link with Hearts’ John Souttar is ‘usual crap’

John Souttar is not keen to leave Hearts, says manager Craig Levein. Picture: SNS.
John Souttar is not keen to leave Hearts, says manager Craig Levein. Picture: SNS.
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Craig Levein has dismissed speculation linking John Souttar with Rangers as the “usual crap” that precedes an encounter between the sides.

The Hearts manager was irked by reports that Steven Gerrard has made the 22-year-old one of his top summer targets and suggested it is no coincidence with Rangers visiting Tynecastle Park tomorrow.

Levain said: “John is the most laid-back kid I have ever met in my life. It will take a lot to get John excited and I haven’t felt the need to speak to him about it. It’s just the usual crap. We are coming up to a game against Rangers and there is speculation about one of our players.”

While reluctant to put a price tag on Souttar, Levein also seemed exasperated by suggestions that £2 million could be enough to secure the recruitment of a player who recently signed a new contract which ties him to Hearts until 2022.

Such an offer would be given short shrift by Hearts chiefs. Moreover, Levein is adamant the player is in no rush to move on.

He said: “I’m not sure John would want to go there.” Asked to expand on the quip, he laughed: “I was just throwing a little pebble into the water!” He continued: “I don’t need to value John Souttar. It is straightforward; if a club makes an offer then we will talk about it in the boardroom and then we will have a better idea of what the price should be.

“John is in no hurry to go anywhere. That is something he has stressed to me. He has said: ‘I’m learning here’, he’s got great support around him, is getting better all the time and has got into the Scotland squad, which he is really proud of.”