Hearts boss Craig Levein admits MLS interest in Steven Naismith

Craig Levein hopes Steven Naismith’s revived Scotland career can help persuade the forward to stay at Hearts beyond the summer.

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On-loan Naismith is considering a move to the United States when his Norwich contract expires but remains in talks over a permanent switch to Hearts.

Birmingham were linked with a move for the 32-year-old earlier in the week and reports emerged on Friday that the former Rangers and Everton player was weighing up a move to Major League Soccer.

Hearts attacker Steven Naismith is out of contract at the end of the season. Picture: SNS

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Levein said: “He told me that. We have very open and honest discussions. I think he will want to be a coach, for sure, and I would suggest that when he’s a coach maybe he should go to the MLS, and finish his playing career here.

“I speak to Steven regularly. He’s not a guy who is prone to knee-jerk reactions and he will think long and hard about what his next move is.”

Naismith netted two goals in four games for Scotland in the autumn after a flying start to the season saw him make his international return after an 18-month absence.

Levein said: “My view is he is in a good place just now - he is playing good football, he’s got himself back into the national team, he is hugely respected at Hearts.

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“He’s got a chance, all being well, if Alex (McLeish) and his team manage to qualify for a major tournament, I’m sure Steven will be a major part of that.

“I think all of these things are easier for him if he’s still at Hearts. So I’m hopeful he will stay.”