According to former Heart of Midlothian player and manager Jim Jefferies, the Jambos shouldn’t have hesitated in cashing in on Jamie Walker, after Rangers offered them £500,000 for the former Scotland Under-21 international.
While a deal fell through, the Gers are now set to sign the 24-year-old winger on a pre-contract in January, eventually landing him for free next summer.
Jefferies, 66, who led Hearts to a Scottish Cup win in the 1997-98 term, can’t get to terms with his former side’s refusal to sell, and he cites a similar experience the club later regretted during his time in charge.
The Light Blues wanted to pay the Tynecastle outfit £1million for defender Paul Ritchie in 1999, but a deal wasn’t reached.
Hearts later sold the defender to Bolton on a short-term deal for £50,000, and he joined Rangers on a Bosman the next summer.
Irked that a repeat could be on the cards, Jefferies told the Daily Record: “That’s why I’m surprised Hearts didn’t just sell Jamie Walker.
“I don’t know the finances, they are seemingly in a good state, but when you’re building a new stand and trying to improve the team you need to look at ways of raising money.
“The only way I can work it out is that they see Jamie as vital to their plans to qualify for Europe but it looks like he’s going to end up at Rangers eventually.”
Rangers would willingly wait it out for their man for the next one year, and swoop on Walker next summer when his contract expires.
They currently sit 5th on the Scottish Premiership table with 7 points from 4 matches, and while Celtic are the clear favourites for the league title this season, Rangers would hope to beat others to the runners-up spot.