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.
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.
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.
“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.”