Hearts manager Craig Levein admits attempts to bring Steven Naismith and David Milinkovic back to Tynecastle Park are ongoing. Levein is working on both players and is making some progress, although negotiations have not been easy.
Naismith joined Hearts on loan from Norwich City in January and impressed with four goals in 16 appearances. He is one of the highest earners at Norwich, where his contract runs for another year, but is not in the plans of head coach Daniel Farke.
Levein has spoken with the Scotland internationalist and is keen to bring him back to Edinburgh for next season. For now, he must await the outcome of discussions between Naismith and Norwich officials to see if the player can secure his release from Carrow Road.
Milinkovic, the French winger contracted to Genoa until 2019, spent all of last season on loan at Hearts. He made 26 appearances, scoring six goals, and became a favourite with supporters. Genoa are keen to move him on but, with interest from clubs in Italy and France, want a transfer fee of £600,000.
Levein is hopeful of either negotiating a lower amount in line with Hearts’ budget, or potentially agreeing another loan. Genoa would prefer an outright transfer for a player who has no future at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris.
Asked about Naismith and Milinkovic, Levein said only: “I’m still working away on both of those. I’m in touch with Genoa’s representative and we’ll see how that goes.
“I’ve been in contact with Norwich and Steven’s agent. They need to sort out their situation before we can do anything so, again, it’s case of wait and see.”