Norwich City are believed to have a deal in place for Everton striker Steven Naismith when the transfer market opens up on New Years Day.
The Canaries did make an offer for the 29-year-old Scottish international in the summer, shortly before the transfer window closed. Everton ended up rejecting the £7 million bid, with manager Roberto Martinez saying that he was too important to sell. But Naismith has been used sparingly this season, as other players have come into the side and pushed him down the pecking order.
“I sat down with Steven in August and said: ‘You are too important to Everton to allow you to go at this stage. I don’t know how Arouna Koné will be, how Gerard Deulofeu will be, how the others will be,’” Martinez told the Guardian earlier this month. “The offer of Norwich arrived very late and I couldn’t replace him. It was a very honest communication and I said in January we will reassess it.
“The way Steven Naismith behaves, and the way he works, means that when he says something you have to listen. Anything could happen between now and then, but I will listen to him. If it is someone who is selfish and has never been bothered about helping the team then you can pay them back in the same way. It is quite straightforward.”
The Guardian reports that Norwich has agreed in principal with Everton for a deal worth £8 million, but that they face competition for Naismith’s signature by other clubs such as Sunderland, Swansea and Aston Villa.