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Hearts boss slams 'silly' Chris Sutton over Kyle Lafferty jibes and refuses to rule out Rangers deal

Hearts boss Craig Levein has hit back Chris Sutton after the former Celtic striker branded Kyle Lafferty a 'timebomb'.

The Northern Ireland forward has been the subject of a rejected £200,000 bid from Rangers and Levein didn't rule out the potential of a deal being struck before the transfer window closes at the end of the month.

Sutton had said that Lafferty would be an 'underwhelming' signing for the Ibrox club and said the player is 'a nutter at times' as well as a 'timebomb'.

Now Lafferty's boss has defended the player.

"I'm sure Chris will regret that,” said Levein. “I think it was just a little bit silly. I don't want to get involved much more, other than to say that.

“Chris is a decent guy and I'm sure he maybe regrets saying that.

"Since Kyle has been here, I've had a brilliant relationship with him. His professionalism has been there and he was good when he came on last Sunday and was unlucky not to get a couple of goals.”

Hearts value the player at £750,000, some way off Rangers' initial bid and Levein has challenged the Glasgow club to up their offer if they want their man.

“The thing isn't dead, but the offer that was made is not good enough," he said.

“I don’t have any issue with people trying to penny pinch players, I try and do that myself.

“There’s another four weeks in the transfer window to go so we’ll see what happens.

“For a deal to go through, three parties need to be satisfied with the deal and at this moment in time there isn’t a common ground. It’s just a normal situation like any transfer it’s the status quo and Kyle will be involved tomorrow.”

Hearts begin their Scottish Premiership season away at Hamilton tomorrow afternoon (kick-off 3pm). Former Glenavon star Bobby Burns could be in line for his league debut, having impressed during pre-season and the League Cup campaign.

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