Grame Murty spoke to Steven Naismith but Rangers made no offer

Rangers manager Graeme Murty hit back at Kris Boyd over criticism of the Ibrox club's transfer moves. Picture: Craig Foy/SNS
Rangers manager Graeme Murty hit back at Kris Boyd over criticism of the Ibrox club's transfer moves. Picture: Craig Foy/SNS
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Rangers manager Graeme Murty has confirmed he spoke to Steven Naismith about his return to Scottish football but decided against making an offer for the Norwich City attacking midfielder.

Naismith has joined Hearts on loan for the rest of the season, having expressed his enthusiasm earlier in the month at the prospect of another stint with Rangers, whom he left for English football in the wake of their financial collapse in 2012.

Murty insists he is content with the alternative choices he has made in bolstering the attacking options in his squad, having signed Jamie Murphy and Jason Cummings on loan deals from Brighton and Nottingham Forest.

“I talked to Steven but we were concentrating on the guys that we have brought in,” said Murty.

“Congratulations to Hearts for getting him but I’m going to concentrate and talk about the guys we’ve got here, if that’s OK.

“No, there was no bid for him [Naismith]. We were looking at lots of players, but we identified Jamie Murphy early because it was an area we needed strengthened.

“Then we looked at the centre forward options, with Kenny Miller being injured, and wanted to have
more variety and options at the top of the pitch. So that [Cummings] was really a no-brainer for me.

“So the guys we have brought in were those guys we targeted as ‘must haves’. You don’t want to bring too many in who are not going to be playing regularly. You want to make sure the people you bring in are going to go straight into the starting line-up and contribute immediately.

“Steven is now a Hearts player. Whatever has gone on between Steven and Hearts or between Steven and Rangers is our business. He is a Hearts player and we wish him all the best, but obviously not against us.”

Murty, meanwhile, has dismissed criticism from former Rangers striker Kris Boyd of the Ibrox club’s transfer policy. Boyd accused Rangers of “unsettling” players at other clubs after they had bids for Kilmarnock winger Jordan Jones and Hamilton midfielder Greg Docherty turned down.

“Kris is entitled to his opinion,” added Murty. “As far as I’m concerned we have made offers for players and it’s well within their rights to turn those bids down. Our business has been above board and transparent. If he thinks our bids are too low, that’s Kris’ opinion.

“You make a bid, as to your perceived value of the player. The other club may have a different value. If that’s the case, we either renegotiate and come to an agreement or we walk away. There is no bitterness, no anger. It’s just business and the way it has always been done in football.” more variety and options at the top of the pitch. So that (Cummings) was really a no-brainer for me.

“So the guys we have brought in were those guys we targeted as ‘must haves’. You don’t want to bring too many in who are not going to be playing regularly. You want to make sure the people you bring in are going to go straight into the starting line-up and contribute immediately.

“Steven is now a Hearts player. Whatever has gone on between Steven and Hearts or between Steven and Rangers is our business. He is a Hearts player and we wish him all the best, but obviously not against us.”

While Rangers have been bringing players in ready for a push in the second half of the season, reports last night claimed that defender Bruno Alves could be on his way out.

Alves, keen to ensure regular game time and win a place in Portugal’s World Cup squad for Russia, has been linked with a move to Italian side Benevento. The 36-year-old has played in Italy before, making 37 appearances for Cagliari before joining Rangers.

Murty also revealed yesterday that injured captain Lee Wallace has recently had further surgery – “a 
bi-lateral hernia repair” – but he hopes to have the full-back fit again soon.