Talks between the clubs have taken place after Rangers made a move to sign the 23-year-old. A £500,000 transfer fee was verbally put forward by the Ibrox club but it was instantly dismissed by Hearts, who want a seven-figure sum.
Walker has told the Edinburgh club he won’t sign a new deal when his current one expires in summer 2018. As a result, Hearts will reluctantly listen to offers for the player.
Rangers’ interest is not unexpected but they were told during conversation that their valuation of Walker is significantly lower than Hearts’. They are expected to try to negotiate further over the coming weeks.
Hearts are determined to secure upwards of £1m for a player they developed in their youth academy, and who has been a first-team regular for several seasons. Walker was named Player of the Year and Fans’ Player of the Year at the club’s end-of-season awards night in April. He finished the campaign with 15 goals from 43 competitive appearances in all competitions.
Head coach Ian Cathro is braced for Walker’s departure at some point and is also resigned to losing fellow wide man Sam Nicholson, who is out of contract and wanted by MLS club Minnesota United.