Hearts boss Robbie Neilson insists he had no hesitation to put Rangers-bound John Souttar back into the side for the Premiership clash against Celtic.

The defender missed the Scottish Cup win over Auchinleck Talbot at the weekend having signed a pre-contract with Rangers earlier this month.

Heart of Midlothian v Celtic FC - Cinch Scottish Premiership
(Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

While there has been continuing speculation over Souttar’s short-term future at Hearts, Neilson was confident in the Scotland star’s abilities ahead of facing the Parkhead side.

“None at all to be honest with you,” Neilson told BBC Sportsound.

“He trained yesterday and John is a top player, top professional and he brings so much to the team. Tonight is all about winning, so we put our best team out there.

Rangers have had a bid of around £300k rejected by Hearts as they look to bring Souttar to Glasgow this month and Neilson confirmed there’s been no change since last week.

Neilson remains happy for Souttar to remain a Hearts player and insists he will continue to select him for as long as he is available.

“Same as we were the last couple of days,” the Hearts boss added.

“I know an offer went in and it got knocked back so as long as that continues John  will continue to be here and to be selected.”

With the prospect of third in the Premiership or the Scottish Cup winners getting guaranteed European group stage football next season, it is easy to see why Hearts aren’t willing to let Souttar go on the cheap.

As the transfer deadline gets closer, it seems more and more unlikely that Souttar will be a Rangers player until the summer.

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