Dishonest and disappointing - Levein aims another brutal dig at Rangers as transfer row escalates
By James Black
Hearts manager Craig Levein has taken another swipe at Rangers over their pursuit of winger Jamie Walker by accusing them of being “dishonest” and letting down the player.
Levein, who is also the Jam Tarts’ director of football, insists Rangers broke promises made to the 24-year-old as they attempted to sign him over the summer.
“I don’t want to go into too much detail but if I was Jamie I’d be a little bit disappointed that a lot of the promises that were made to him weren’t kept. And not from our club” Levein told the Daily Record.
“I haven’t had a conversation with him. He has trained fantastically well since the beginning of the week.
“For me, Jamie Walker is another player. If he does work on the training ground, he will play.”
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Rangers made several bids for Walker – all of which the Jambos rejected – before trying to negotiate a player-plus-cash deal on deadline day which would have seen Jason Holt head in the opposite direction.
Hearts were unwilling to do business for less than £1million for Walker and now look set to lose him for free when his contract expires at the end of the season.
Caixinha personally scouted Walker during pre-season, watching him in action against Newcastle United, before making the winger one of his key targets.
While the clubs were in talks over a move, then-manager Ian Cathro dropped Walker over concerns about the player’s focus before the player returned to the starting XI in the Jambos’ 0-0 Ibrox draw.
Ex-caretaker Hearts boss Jim Daly also delivered a series of digs at Rangers and Levein, who has widely criticised the Glasgow giants over recent years, has followed suit with his latest verbal assault.
Levein is set to unleash the winger on Aberdeen as Hearts play their first of three games at their temporary Murrayfield base while Tynecastle’s main stand is rebuilt.
Rangers could return with a cut-price bid for Walker in January and, if as expected they agree a pre-contract with him, Hearts’ hand may be forced into cashing in on their prized asset.
Walker scored 15 times in 43 appearances for Heart last season.