Norwich City transfer target Steven Naismith was tempted by move away from Everton

Reported Norwich City summer transfer target Steven Naismith struck a hat-trick against Chelsea. Pho

Reported Norwich City summer transfer target Steven Naismith struck a hat-trick against Chelsea. Photo: Dave Thompson/PA Wire - Credit: PA

Everton midfielder Steven Naismith admits he would have been tempted by a potential transfer deadline day move to Premier League rivals Norwich City.

The Canaries' were touted with a big-money offer for the Scottish international in the closing hours of the summer window, which was rejected by Toffees' boss Roberto Martinez. Naismith marked his return to the Everton line-up at the weekend with an eye-catching hat-trick to sink champions Chelsea at Goodison Park.

The 29-year-old now hopes to play a leading role on Merseyside after falling down the pecking order in recent times.

'There was interest there and when you are not playing every week it is hard to look past these opportunities,' said Naismith. 'When it came about it was something I thought I had to consider. At my age, and having had a few years out with injury, you do wonder how long it is going to be before you are playing regularly again.

'But it was out of my hands because the manager just said he didn't want me to leave. That was nice in a way but, when you're not playing, it is also hard to take.'

Martinez reassured the midfielder he is still a big part of his squad.

'When the manager said it wasn't going to happen, I knew then I just had to work hard and be ready for a day like Saturday,' he said.

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'The manager said he saw me as a valuable part of the squad and wanted to keep me. It just shows how things can change so quickly in football. Hopefully I've shown my worth to the team.'