Hearts have turned down an improved £600,000 offer from Rangers for midfielder Jamie Walker.
The Ibrox club have now had two bids rejected by their Edinburgh counterparts for the want-away playmaker after having an initial £300,000 rebuffed. Hearts are holding out for a fee in the region of £1 million.
Behind the scenes, it is believed that Hearts officials consider the offer for the 23-year-old to be ‘derisory’.
But having already fended off two unsuccessful bids for the attacking player, who scored 15 goals last season, the Gorgie outfit are bracing themselves for further interest.
Tynecastle director of football Craig Levein recently admitted that the club would reluctantly listen to offers for Walker after the player turned down the chance to extend his existing deal beyond summer 2018.
Rangers manager Pedro Caixinha is keen to take the forward to Ibrox as part of his summer overhaul.
Hearts return to pre-season training on Friday and head coach Ian Cathro insists he expects Walker to show the right attitude.
Speaking to the Edinburgh Evening News, Cathro, who has already added Scotland defender Christophe Berra and striker Cole Stockton to the squad, said: “I look at it really simply: Jamie is one of my players. He has great talent, a lot of potential and is someone who can be influential.
“He needs to come to work and be ready to fight, progress, grow, push himself and improve himself.
“It’s also my responsibility to help him develop and we’ll do that together.
“We aren’t going to be obsessed in the business side of things. We want to be obsessed with performance.
“These things will always be going on in the background in one way or another.
“The most important thing is the attitude of everyone to concentrate on the performance of the team.
“This kind of story exists constantly with different players so it’s a simple situation for me.”
Hearts, meanwhile, have confirmed that Marc Leonard and Harry Cochrane have both signed three-year professional contracts after the midfielders shone at under-17 level. The pair will join up with Jon Daly’s development squad.