'We're putting in a bid for Alfredo Morelos' - Craig Levein responds to Rangers transfer link with Hearts starlet

Craig Levein has insisted he's taking Rangers' reported interest in Hearts defender Aaron Hickey "with a lump of salt".

Craig Levein has laughed off speculation linking Aaron Hickey with Rangers
Craig Levein has laughed off speculation linking Aaron Hickey with Rangers

The Jambos host the Ibrox side this weekend but following the arrival of the Gers' new sporting director Ross Wilson, 17-year-old Hickey was touted for a £2 million move along the M8.

Hearts are continuing to work towards a contract extension for the former Celtic youngster, and are unfazed by ongoing speculation about their burgeoning teenage full-back.

Addressing the transfer speculation ahead of the weekend's clash, Tynecastle boss Levein told The Scotsman's sister title, the Evening News, that he was sceptical about a January switch for Hickey.

“Who do we play at the weekend?” he asked wryly, before joking: “We’re going to put an offer in for [Alfredo] Morelos tomorrow.

"I’m taking [the Hickey speculation] with a lump of salt.”

Hickey has been the subject of reported interest from Manchester City and Southampton, but Hearts are eager to extend the starlet's stay in the Capital.

His current contract is due to expire at the end of next season and Levein revealed at the end of last month that he was in dialogue with Hickey’s father aimed at extending the versatile youngster’s deal at Tynecastle.

He confirmed yesterday that talks are still ongoing in that regard. “I’m still working on it,” said Levein. “I want to just try and get it done with his dad and then I’ll talk about it.”