Steven Naismith snubbed offers in England to join Hearts

Steven Naismith has signed a one-year loan deal with Hearts. Pic: SNS
Steven Naismith has signed a one-year loan deal with Hearts. Pic: SNS
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New Hearts signing Steven Naismith had offers to continue his career his career in England, but revealed he only had any real interest in returning to Tynecastle.

The former Rangers striker signed a season-long loan deal from Norwich yesterday after spending the second half of last term on loan in Gorgie, scoring four times in 16 appearances.

Now back for a second spell, the striker admitted a return north was always his first choice and after enjoying a productive six months in maroon, saw no reason not to commit for the 2018/19 campaign.

“I had offers from the Championship, but it never went in to too much detail because it wasn’t really something that I was interested in, in all honesty,” said the 31-year-old. “I think it was similar to January – I could have gone to the Championship then but it never really suited the whole package.

“In the summer Hearts was the only one that was I was involved in and interested in to be honest. Again that goes back to the situation in January – I came here and it was good, it was very good so why not continue it?”

It has been clear for some time that Naismith is surplus to requirements at Carrow Road. A permanent switch likely would have suited both Hearts and the player, but would have required some form of agreement with Norwich to cancel the remainder of his contract, which runs until next summer.

That wasn’t possible, but the Scotland international is open discussing to a longer-term solution when the time comes.

“We’ve not really even spoke about that,” Naismith explained. “When I spoke to the manager it was more that I never really saw that as being an option of getting out of Norwich in terms of cancelling my contract. I’ll take this season, see how it goes and again, I’m pretty relaxed about it all. I had agreed to come here three days ago or something but I only signed yesterday morning so I think everybody involved has been relaxed.

“It wasn’t as if anything else was going to happen or I was playing a game and the manager knew that. We’ve got a very good relationship so I’m sure there will be chats through out the season and we’ll see where it goes.”