John Souttar will miss Hearts' Scottish Cup fourth-round tie with Auchinleck Talbot as they hold talks with Rangers about a potential January transfer.
The 25-year-old Scotland centre-half this week signed a pre-contract deal with the Glasgow club to join them on a four-year contract in the summer.
Rangers are understood to have offered around £300,000 for the player to move during January.
But the Tynecastle club are looking for around £500,000.
If Souttar had played in Saturday's tie away to the junior side, he would have been cup-tied for the rest of the competition and unable to play for Rangers should a permanent transfer be agreed.
Rangers have already progressed to the fifth round after Friday's 4-0 win at home to League 2 side Stirling Albion.