By James Black
Hearts are to hold talks with Rangers target Jamie Walker after the winger saw his dream move to Ibrox collapse on deadline day, according to a report.
The Edinburgh Evening News report that Rangers made several bids for the 24-year-old winger over the summer but Hearts refused to budge on their £1million asking price before Thursday’s transfer deadline.
Walker’s Tynecastle contract expires at the end of the season and Hearts will now face losing their star man for free next summer with Rangers believed to be looking at securing a pre-contract in January.
Rangers boss Pedro Caixinha even travelled to Tynecastle to watch Walker in action during Hearts’ pre-season friendly with Premier League new boys Newcastle United.
Former Hearts boss Ian Cathro – and caretaker Jon Daly – dropped Walker from Hearts’ starting line-up while speculation surrounded Walker’s future in Edinburgh and newly-appointed manager Craig Levein wants to get an idea of where the player’s focus is before considering him for upcoming fixtures.
Negotiations between the clubs went on late into Thursday night as Rangers tried to reach agreement with Hearts for Walker – a straight cash deal and cash-plus-player move were rejected – but Hearts remained steadfast in their valuation.
Despite Hearts’ insistence on holding on to Walker until the end of the season, it’s been made clear to the Hearts’ hierarchy that the player won’t sign a new contract to extend his Tynecastle stay beyond 2018.
With Hearts knocked out of the League Cup at the group stage it was believed they may have cashed in on Walker, however, despite weeks of talks a deal wasn’t done to send the player to Ibrox.
Walker scored 15 times in 43 appearances for the Jambos last season but has only featured in two of Hearts’ Scottish Premiership games so far this term.
In other Rangers news, a manager of an English club has revealed what he’s been told about this Gers 22-year-old.