Moyes pondering bid for Rangers' Naismith as West Brom dally
22:29 GMT, 16 May 2012
Everton manager David Moyes has set his sights on a cut-price move for Rangers star Steven Naismith.
The Scotland international had a release clause of 2million inserted in his contract after accepting a swingeing 75-per-cent wage cut in February.
And, subject to further talks with Goodison chairman Bill Kenwright, Moyes hopes to be handed the funds to reunite Naismith with Nikica Jelavic, the scorer of 11 goals in 16 games following his 5.5m capture in January.
Target: Steven Naismith is an option for David Moyes
West Brom have made known their interest in taking Naismith to The Hawthorns but have baulked at the player’s wage demands.
Following recommendations from Jelavic, who described Naismith as the best strike partner he has ever had, and Goodison coach David Weir, Moyes is said by Merseyside sources to be a ‘huge fan’ of the player, although he may have to release funds from sales of his current first-team squad before turning his attention to the Scotland international.
The player himself is open to talks with the new Charles Green consortium, who are seeking to complete an 8.5m deal for Rangers and hold on to a raft of the club’s high-earning players.
With wages due to return to normal levels on June 1, however, and concerns over a funding gap, the likelihood remains of top earners leaving.
Continental clubs are circling around Northern Irishman Kyle Lafferty, while Naismith remains non-committal.
He said: ‘I have no say over who takes over the club or what happens in business terms, but I have a three-year contract.
‘It really is that simple. Now, things can change and I can have decisions to make. But it will still be in my control.’
Interested: David Moyes wants to boost his striking options
Rangers goalkeeper Allan McGregor last night reiterated his desire to stay with the Ibrox club.
Rangers have a one-year transfer embargo hanging over their heads and could yet be hit with further penalties if found guilty of contract irregularities.
But the current Scotland No 1 has stressed he has no desire to walk out on his boyhood heroes. He said: ‘I would hope to stay. I’ve always said that. It’s hard to say what might happen if it gets beyond the time and nothing has happened.
‘But, hopefully, something happens sooner rather than later in terms of the club going forward.
‘Obviously, we’ll have to see if there are still sporting sanctions on and off the park. I can’t look into a crystal ball but hope to still be here.
‘There haven’t been that many highlights this season apart from a good run at the start and beating Celtic towards the end.
‘When we lost the 10 points for going into administration we knew it would be very difficult to win the league but, in football, you’re not allowed to give up.
‘When we went out there on the park we didn’t go out thinking about it (administration).
‘It’s probably off the park that it takes affect. It’s not a great position to be in and I hope we come out of it very soon.’