Hearts head coach Robbie Neilson has refused to comment on the club’s pursuit of Dundee United midfielder John Souttar, but admits he has money to spend this month.
The Tynecastle club have already had one offer in the region of £100,000 turned down for the 19-year-old, who is out of contract this summer, but are weighing up tabling an increased bid before Monday’s transfer window closes.
Neilson was yesterday reluctant to be drawn on the Scotland Under-21 cap but admits the club have a modest transfer chest available thanks to the backing of the supporters.
The Hearts head coach, who has also been linked with a move for Dundee striker Craig Wighton, said: “I’m not going to comment on other team’s players. I think it’s important that we do any business privately and we take it from there.
“A lot of players have been put to us, a lot of good players and there’s players at other teams that we’re looking to speak to as well.
“We’re still looking to get a striker in but if there’s any player that I think will add value, then we’ll look to do something.
“I expect things to happen in the next two or three days but if it does not happen I will be more than happy with what I’ve got.
“I’ve got a good squad, if there’s someone out there that can give us a lift then we have the finances there to do it.
“We can go through the rest of the season with what we’ve got but if there are players out there; it might be one, two or three – if it’s something we can do within our budget then it’s something we can look at.”
Neilson, whose side travel to Inverness tomorrow and will have winger Jamie Walker in the the squad for the first time since October, added: “Because of the backing we’ve had from the fans, from the Foundation of Hearts, from (Hearts chair) Ann Budge, we’ve got finances there that we can go and do something.
“It all goes back to the backing the fans are giving us.
“Every week we sell out hospitality and corporate seats, you’ve got Ann looking after the finances properly and it give us a chance to build.”
Neilson was also reluctant to discuss whether his team had been training with ten-men this week, with referee Willie Collum in charge of the clash against Caley.
Collum sent off Callum Paterson during Hearts’ 3-2 defeat at Hamilton in August, a decision that was reduced to a yellow card on appeal, and Neilson admitted after the game that they had specifically trained with ten men due to the official’s penchant for brandishing red cards.
Neilson, who was hit with a suspended two-game ban by the Scottish FA over those remarks, said: “I am not going to comment on that, I will tell you after the game.”
Neilson, meanwhile, admits he has spoken to Igor Rossi after the defender was red carded during last weekend’s goal-less draw at Hamilton for a two-footed lunge and will now miss tomorrow’s match as well the eagerly-awaited Scottish Cup visit of city rivals Hibs.
Neilson said: “I spoke to him and that was dealt with internally. The biggest punishment for him is that he will miss the derby.
“It’s probably going to be the biggest game of the year and the biggest game he would have played in but now he will miss it because of a moment of losing control.”