Derby County have emerged as frontrunners for Hearts centre-half John Souttar, according to reports in the UK.
The Rams are believed to be keen on signing the Scottish international and will look to match the 22-year-old’s asking price.
Rangers were looking at making a bid for Souttar, with reports of a £3m offer having circulated in the Scottish media last week, but the English Championship side’s involvement in the deal could complicate matters.
Steven Gerrard’s side are said to have been deterred by the £5m price tag that Hearts have put on the defender, following a season where the player has made his senior debut for Scotland.
Souttar is also believed to be keen on a move to England, with Derby still in the race for promotion to the Premier League.
Their 2-0 win against QPR on Monday has moved them up to sixth in the table, back into the playoff places with three games of the regular season to go.