Steven Naismith makes a decision on Scotland as Hearts' search for a manager takes a fresh twist
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Steven Naismith is not joining up with the Scotland squad as planned as he awaits news on the Hearts manager’s job. The 36-year-old has been a member of the national team’s coaching staff under Steve Clarke but will not fly to Spain for this week’s training camp.
Naismith is waiting on news from the Tynecastle hierarchy on whether he will be appointed manager permanently. He was due to travel with the international squad to their base near Murcia to prepare for forthcoming European Championship qualifiers against Norway and Georgia.
The decision not to go is a fresh twist in an ongoing situation as Hearts directors prepare to confirm who will be in charge for next season. Naismith oversaw the final seven games of this campaign as interim manager and is keen to secure the job on a full-time basis. If successful, he will step back from his role with Scotland to focus on his responsibilities with the Tynecastle first team.
Hearts have also spoken to the Hammarby coach Marti Cifuentes, one of the names on their shortlist since they sacked former manager Robbie Neilson in April. Hammarby have made it clear they want to keep the 40-year-old Spaniard and will demand compensation from Hearts if he leaves for Edinburgh.
The Edinburgh club are due to start pre-season training later this month. Players are scheduled to report back to Riccarton on June 27, with friendlies planned for early July to prepare for the new cinch Premiership campaign kicking off in August.