Hearts manager Robbie Neilson is confident John Souttar will return to the Hearts squad on Wednesday night when the Jambos face Celtic in the Scottish Premiership – as the Tynecastle boss confirmed his side have rejected a bid from Rangers for the Scotland international.

Souttar has signed a pre-contract with the Light Blues ahead of his contract expiring in the summer and Hearts are holding out for £500k-plus for Souttar, with Rangers understood to have bid around £300k.

Celtic v Heart of Midlothian - Scottish Cup Final
(Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Neilson insists an ankle knock was the reason he missed yesterday’s 5-0 cup rout of Auchinleck Talbot as he insisted the defender has a big part to play as Hearts push to secure third place.

“John has an ankle injury. I know everyone will be looking more into it after what has happened but that’s the truth,” Neilson said.

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“He will be in the squad for Wednesday until something changes.

“We have had a bid in, but that has been knocked out of the ballpark.

“We value John very very highly and until that valuation is met then he will be a Hearts player.

“We are chasing a run in the cup and European football.”

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