CHRIS SUTTON has claimed John Souttar is a downgrade from Connor Goldson for Rangers.

The Celtic hero made the bold claim as he discussed a pre-contract swoop for the Hearts stopper.

Rangers tonight confirmed Souttar has agreed a switch to Ibrox in the summer when his Hearts contract expires.

And Hearts also noted the news while sending a warning to Rangers that it would take a "significant" fee for Souttar to leave this month.

The move gives Giovanni van Bronckhorst defensive back-up into the summer with Goldson's contract set to run out at the end of the season.

And Sutton reckons Goldson is already thinking about his next move but insisted Souttar is not at the same level as the current Rangers stopper.

Speaking on BT Sport's Scottish Football Extra, Sutton said: “I think that he’s a good player.

“John Souttar is a right-sided centre half, I think the issue with Rangers is what is going to happen to Goldson, it looks like he wants to jump ship.

“Is he like for like for Goldson? I don’t think he’s at Goldson’s level, not that Goldson has been exceptional this season; I think he has been a really good player, a stonrg player for Rangers.

“With respect to John Souttar, I think it’s a downgrade.”

Rangers hero Ally McCoist joined the discussion by insisting Souttar could become a very good signing if he stays injury free.

But it's the player's fitness that is the only concern for McCoist after the move was confirmed.

He said: "My only concern is, and this is not a criticism I think  it's a little bit of statement of fact, unfortunately for the lad I think he's a little bit injury prone.

"I'd love to see him just get a run of games and go and play because I definitely think there is a talent there.

"I definitely think there's improvement in him. Is he the same standard of Goldson right now; I'm not sure - however I definitely think it'll be a good signing.

"I definitely think potentially in the long-run hopefully  if he stays injury free he could be a very good signing for Rangers, I really do."