ANGE Postecoglou has expressed some sympathy for Rangers-bound John Souttar. The Hearts defender has agreed a pre-contract with the Ibrox side although a deal could yet be done before the transfer window closes at the end of the month.

The news irked a section of the Tynecastle support who jeered the player last week and it is an awkward position for the Scotland internationalist to find himself in. Postecglou’s Celtic could potentially face Souttar in a Hearts shirt this week and then in a Rangers jersey, with the Greek-Australian appreciating the complexities of the position.  

“Yeah look that is a challenging position for the player and for clubs who have to deal with that,” said Postecoglou.  

“I have dealt with similar sort of situations in Australia. I think if you work in football you always know if a player’s contract is running down and they get into their final year there may be challenges to be faced there. 

“John strikes me as a player who is very, very professional who has his eye on the job in hand. He is representing Hearts at the moment and as long as he is doing that I expect him to perform as he has been doing which is playing well. 

“It is obviously a challenging period though and I always feel for players in this situation because they have made a decision and they know there is going to be blow back for it. 

“But at the same time, like with everything in life, you make these decisions knowing the consequences.” 

And while in England players are not allowed to agree to move to another club within the same league Postecoglou is experienced enough to know that the reality is a different story. 

“It puts players in a difficult position and clubs in a difficult position which I don’t think is healthy for anyone,” he said. “At the same time irrespective of what rules you have in place I can guarantee you discussion take place with players in the same league down in England at this stage.”