Rangers lining up pre-contract moves for defenders John Souttar and Danilho Doekhi

Hearts star Souttar has attracted plenty of interested suitors, while Vitesse Arnehim captain Doekhi is also on the Ibrox club’s radar

Rangers are leading the chase to land Hearts defender John Souttar on a pre-contract this month with manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst keen to add reinforcements to his backline.

The Light Blues are currently locked in a six-way battle with English Championship clubs Blackburn Rovers, Stoke City, Sheffield Wednesday, Nottingham Forest and Sheffield United for the 25-year-old’s signature.

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It is believed the centre-back, who has entered the final six months of his contract at Tynecastle, is keen to push through a move this month if a transfer fee can be agreed.

Hearts' John Souttar is also wanted by Rangers: Ross Parker / SNS Group

There has been plenty of interest in Souttar following an impressive first half to Hearts’ Premiership campaign and the Sunday Mail reported that the Scotland international wants to seal a switch to Ibrox if he decides to snub interest from south of the border.

Should Souttar agree to a permanent move to Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s side, the Scottish champions would need to pay cough up substantial funds in the coming weeks to lure him away from the capital club.

Dutchman Van Bronckhorst is eager to strengthen his defensive line with doubts remaining over Connor Goldson’s long-term future.

The club have already gained a record-breaking transfer fee following the sale of Nathan Patterson to English Premiership side Everton, while there has also been interest in left-back Borna Barisic.

GlasgowWorld understands a pre-contract deal is also being lined up for Vitesse Arnheim captain Danilho Doekhi.

Danilho Doekhi during the Dutch Eredivisie match between Sparta v Vitesse in Rotterdam last month (Photo by Pim Waslander/Soccrates/Getty Images)

The powerful 6ft 3in centre-back has been on Van Bronckhorst’s radar and his progress is also being monitored by Serie A giants Napoli.

The 23-year-old is a former Ajax youth player and while Doekhi expressed his desire to remain at Vitesse until the summer, the Dutch outfit could cash in on him in January.

Speaking last week, Doekhi said: “A winter transfer is not ideal, but if an opportunity comes up I shouldn’t let it go.

“Of course I get the stories of Napoli and Rangers and I am flattered. Scotland is passion. In Italy you really learn how to defend yourself. Both are very beautiful.”