Updated: Norwich City’s Alex Neil reacts to Steven Naismith £8m deal talk and £2.21m swoop for Ivo Pinto

Everton's Steven Naismith has been strongly linked with a January move to Norwich City.

Everton's Steven Naismith has been strongly linked with a January move to Norwich City. - Credit: PA

Norwich City boss Alex Neil has dismissed reports the Canaries have struck a deal with Everton for £8m target Steven Naismith.

Neil, speaking at Colney on Wednesday afternoon ahead of Southampton's Premier League visit this weekend, insisted it was business as usual on the transfer front ahead of the window officially opening on Friday.

Widespread media reports claimed City are in pole position to finally sign Naismith after failing with a summer bid, while Croatian media reported on Tuesday Norwich had lined up a £2.21m move for right-back Ivo Pinto.

Neil reiterated he wants to bring in fresh blood early in January, but refused to be drawn on recent speculation.

'I can't confirm anything about a deal in place (for Naismith). Whatever Roberto (Martinez) and Steven decide has nothing to do with me. We're looking to add to the squad but I won't get into specifics about certain individuals,' he said. 'Regarding him (Pinto) the exact same thing applies. We won't be talking about individuals. It is always difficult to say when we will get the business done. The bottom line is until that paperwork is signed and they are in the building then nothing is complete, nothing is done.

'As far as I am concerned we are no further forward than this time yesterday. Once we have got deals over the line we can discuss it. We want to strengthen and give the lads already here a hand.'

Toffees' chief Martinez adopted a similar stance earlier in the day, insisting he plans to sit down and discuss Naismith's future after a hectic spell of fixtures.

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Everton play five times in 14 days, beginning with a home clash with Tottenham on Sunday, and Martinez believes clarity will be brought to Naismith's situation after that run.

'We speak constantly – in terms of making a decision about the next step and his future, it's going to be over the next couple of weeks,' the Spaniard said.

'We've got a really busy period now and we need to make sure we go through these games. Mid-January will be a perfect moment to have a little bit more of a calm period to look into detail.'

Martinez denied his departure was imminent but appreciates Norwich's lingering interest may not have dissipated since they were rebuffed a few months ago.

'We all know Steven Naismith had one Premier League club show an interest in the previous window and I'm sure that's an open secret so I understand those rumours are there,' he noted.

'At the moment there's nothing to comment. During January we will make sure we know exactly how we need to move forward – it will be the case with every player that is not performing or is not playing a lot of minutes. We need to make sure we go through the window in the best possible way.'

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