Steven Naismith pleads with Norwich City to thrash out his future
PUBLISHED: 11:19 22 April 2018 | UPDATED: 12:33 22 April 2018
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Canaries' outcast Steven Nasmith wants to know if he is heading for the Carrow Road exit this season - or remains part of Daniel Farke's plans.
Naismith joined Hearts on loan in January in a bid for regular football after falling out of favour under the City head coach.
The Scottish international returns to his old club Rangers on Sunday lunchtime in the Scottish Premiership, but his next destination beyond the summer is up in the air.
Naismith is one of the highest earners at Carrow Road and has one year left on the deal that brought him from Everton for a reported £8m in January 2016.
The 31-year-old would not rule out a return to Hearts.
“Definitely,” he says, “I have enjoyed it, I have loved it. If circumstances allow then it is definitely something that would interest me but I give the same answer every time and it is up to Norwich.
“To be honest with you, I have never been in this situation.
“I don’t totally understand how it is going to play out but come the last few weeks of the season I am sure I will be having a conversation with Norwich to try to get to a conclusion as quickly as possible for everybody.
“And that’s whether it involves me being part of the plans for next season or not. It is whether it means me leaving permanently or on loan.
“I think getting a bit of clarity is what everyone needs.”
Hearts boss Craig Levein is a huge fan but admits the Tynecastle club could not afford Naismith’s current salary package at City.
“I would love him to stay here but it’s not really my call,” he said. “Steven has to sort out something with Norwich because we’re miles away from where we could even help.
“I don’t know what the mechanics would be. That’s something he needs to discuss.
“So I’ve no idea how it will resolve itself. It can’t be easy for him to have this hanging over him.
“He is obviously not going to play there so it is a difficult situation to be in. That, in itself, can’t allow him to have a completely clear head.
“Once he does get that it will be more beneficial for him.”
Naismith has been a big influence on the younger players in Levin’s squad.
“He has brought exactly what I thought he would. He is a hard-working, honest player who is full of endeavour,” said Levin, speaking to the Scottish Sun.
“And he brings a willingness to be almost charitable with all the knowledge he has stored in his head.
“He just shares that with everybody, which is great for me.
“We have a lot of young players who tap into that and he shares without even thinking of that.
“He is a winner. He just wants to win matches and that will be what has hurt him most about not playing.
“It’s a drug. When you are playing you want to constantly have that good feeling of having played well and exhausted yourself to get three points.
“He is no different to how he was at Killie as a bairn. He did take a while to get up to the level and I don’t think he is fully there yet.
“He needs to get a good pre-season.”