Hearts manager Craig Levein has dropped a significant hint that the developing Kyle Lafferty saga reminds him of the Jamie Walker, and the Gorgie boss expects it to end the same way.
Speaking after Hearts’ league cup win over Inverness to Sky Sports, the former Tynecastle sporting director made some pointed remarks about Lafferty and Rangers. He said:
“The good thing is we only have another month of this nonsense until the transfer window closes. We had the same dealings with Rangers over Jamie Walker. So I kind of expect the same thing again.”
The curious thing here is Rangers’ bid for Walker ended up being around £700,000, where Hearts demanded a million, before ending up selling him to today’s opponents Wigan for £250,000.
So for Levein to suggest he expects the same again is literally a Scottish manager suggesting Rangers’ £250K bid isn’t enough, but anyone else’s is.
For a 30 year old in the final year of his contract, Hearts probably expect at least double Rangers’ initial offer – but it is more than a touch ironic and amusing that a Scottish club is so transparent about expecting more from Rangers for a player than they do from any other club.
Levein admits also Lafferty wants the move, in so many words:
“As much as Kyle says it’s not having an effect, I think it probably has.”
Rangers want their man, and assuming they can come to agreement with Hearts (unlikely), they’ll get him. Disappointingly though it’s worth pointing out since 2012, Rangers have successfully signed zero players from rival division clubs in terms of transfer fees. The only real exception was January’s Greg Docherty from Hamilton, and we can’t really consider them a ‘rival’ – feel free to correct us in the comments?
We don’t expect this time to be any different.