Hearts manager Craig Levein still hopes that “culture-setter” Steven Naismith will sign a permanent contract with the club.
Norwich loanee Naismith will have an operation on Monday to shave some cartilage from the knee that he injured against Celtic on February 27 and could be out for between eight-to-ten weeks.
The player is out of contract at Carrow Road this summer and has an offer from Hearts. However, he is also wanted by clubs in America and as yet not decided on his next move.
Levein reiterated his desire to keep the former Rangers and Everton man at Tynecastle beyond this season, explaining why he is such a key figure on and off the pitch.
““I’d like him to stay, it’s as simple as that,” said Levein of a striker that has scored 16 times in 31 appearances for Hearts in the 2018/19 campaign.
“We’ve got Aaron Hughes and his contract is up at the end of the year but he’s still useful. He’s one of the culture-setters at the club, he does things properly every day and he’s a great example to all the players.
“Naisy is in that category. He’s a culture-setter and he makes sure everybody does their jobs properly on the training ground and also match days. There’s more to him that just the goals he’s provided.”