Hearts transfers: John Souttar takes centre stage - what to expect at Tynecastle on deadline day

Hearts conducted their business reasonably early in the winter transfer window.

With Robbie Neilson’s team motoring along nicely in third place of the cinch Premiership, only a couple of reinforcements were needed to an already strong squad.

Australian defender Nathaniel Atkinson arrived at the start of the window, while Toby Sibbick arrived last week from Barnsley and can cover both central defence and midfied in what will be his second stint with the Tynecastle outfit.

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Neilson wanted to bolster his attacking options and take the weight off top-scorer Liam Boyce’s shoulders, and the loan signing of Ellis Simms from Everton should do that. He scored on his first start against Motherwell at the weekend and already looks a good acquisition.

Hearts reinforced their defence early with the arrival of Nathaniel Atkinson.

Hearts will only dip back into the transfer market should central defender John Souttar’s summer move to Rangers be accelerated. The 25-year-old Scotland internationalist signed a pre-contract with the Ibrox club earlier this month and while the defending cinch Premiership champions want him in this window, their only offer so far – believed to be £300,000 – is well beneath Hearts’ valuation of the player.

Hearts are prepared to keep the 25-year-old until the end of the season if Rangers do not meet their demands, having already played him in two matches since he decided his long-term future lies along the M8.

Some of Hearts’ best business in January has been tying down out of contract players, with club captain and goalkeeper Craig Gordon along with defenders Stephen Kingsley, Craig Halkett and Michael Smith signing new contracts.

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John Souttar, right, could still leave this month.