Hearts boss Robbie Neilson would love to keep Scotland hero John Souttar at Tynecastle beyond the end of the season when his Jambos deal ends – but admits they could be priced out of a new deal for the defender.
Souttar sscored in the win over Denmark on Monday after a three-year exile from the national side, capping off an excellent run of form for the Jambos this season and Neilson wants to see him stay in Gorgie for a while longer.
While the Hearts boss needs to sit down and talk with Tynecastle chief Ann Budge, Neilson confessed he is “working away in the background” with several players over extending their Jambos’ stay.
“Obviously, I would like to keep this guy but it depends where we go financially,” said Neilson.
“I would love to keep him because he is a top person and also a very good footballer. We need to speak to Ann and the board. We are working away in the background with a number of players.”
“A lot of teams know about John,” added Neilson. “What’s key for John is playing consistently week in week out, which we are giving him that opportunity to do here and hopefully we can continue to do that.
“It’s been a tough few years for John but for him the consistency of fitness is the key. Starting out at a young age, coming through and looking if he was really going to kick on and then all of a sudden a couple of years of difficulty.”
Souttar has been linked with a host of clubs, including Rangers, Stoke City, Nottingham Forest and Blackburn Rovers so there will be plenty for the defender to mull over in the coming months.
Given his recent performances for the Jambos, making sure he stays fit and on top of his game is crucial for Neilson and his side – with Souttar’s future not likely to be settled any time soon.
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