Craig Levein expects Rangers to continue Kyle Lafferty pursuit
By PA Sport
Last Updated: 29/07/18 7:53pm
Hearts manager Craig Levein is braced for another month of "nonsense" following Rangers' failed bid for Kyle Lafferty.
Rangers fell well short last week with a £200,000 offer for the Northern Ireland international, who hit the post after coming off the bench during Hearts' 5-0 Betfred Cup win over Inverness on Sunday.
But Levein expects to have to work to keep former Rangers striker Lafferty firing on all cylinders amid continued speculation over the Ibrox club's next move.
"As much as Kyle says it's not having an effect, I think it probably has," the Hearts manager said.
"I had a long chat with him about his responsibilities as a professional and he was good. He tried like a bear when he came on. He was focused.
"My focus was on the team and trying to make sure that he would be able to assist us if he came on, and he did very well.
"The good thing is we only have another month of this nonsense until the transfer window closes. We had the same dealings with Rangers over Jamie Walker. So I kind of expect the same thing again."
The bid sparked comparisons with a transfer wrangle involving the Light Blues and Jamie Walker at this time last year. Hearts threw out several offers and the midfielder was left out of squads before a potential deal collapsed again on deadline day.
Lafferty is in the final year of his contract and the club might be tempted to sell after an expensive redevelopment of Tynecastle last year, but Levein was being diplomatic when he described Rangers' bid for a player who netted 19 times last season as "disappointing".
When pressed on the difference in valuations, he added: "I'm not even going to talk about it, that's how much I think about it."