Norwich City exit ‘could happen’ this summer, admits Scotland forward Steven Naismith
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Steven Naismith admits he could leave Norwich City before the start of next season but the Scottish forward also admits a summer exit is far from certain.
The 30-year-old is currently away with Scotland preparing for Saturday’s crucial World Cup qualifier against England at Hampden Park, having scored seven goals in 32 games for City this season.
However, Naismith has struggled to live up to his £8.5million price tag since signing from Everton in January 2016 and Norwich are reportedly keen to shift one of their top earners from the wage bill.
“I have two years left at Norwich and they have said that if there are circumstances where I can move on, and it’s right for everybody, it could happen,” the Scot said.
“But in the same breath I signed at Norwich expecting to be there for that time.
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“It’s an exciting time. A new manager (Daniel Farke) has come into the club and I’ll be going back to see exactly where I stand.
“It’s a clean slate for everyone so hopefully I can impress the new manager and try to be in his plans. First of all, it’s how my relationship is with him and how he sees me. I could go back and play a massive role, or I could go back and he says I’m a bit-part player, which means you evaluate your options.
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“That’s where we stand just now but I’m going back excited hoping to learn from the new boss.”
Naismith had also spoken to the BBC at the weekend, saying that he hoped to impress new head coach Farke, and added in his Daily Record interview that a return to former club Rangers was not yet in his thinking.
“I’ve not even thought of Rangers,” he continued. “I’ll think about that if it was ever an option or it ever came up, but I’m not thinking about that at the moment.
“I’ll come back to Scotland one day. Whether it’s to play golf or play for the local amateur team, I’ll come back.”
The Canaries attacker has been on the fringes of Gordon Strachan’s squad but scored the equaliser in a 1-1 friendly draw with Canada in March and then played most of the second half of a vital 1-0 home win over Slovenia in World Cup qualifying four days later.
“I have 46 caps and 50 is obviously a target. It’s a special number with the Hall of Fame and everything that comes with it,” he added.
“The main thing is about playing and going away with your country, seeing the atmosphere at games, playing in them and getting to a tournament at the end of it all. That’s the main thing, the 50 is an added extra.
“Getting that and qualifying from this campaign would be lovely but you have to get picked first and take it from there.”
Naismith last played for City in a 3-3 draw at Leeds on April 29, receiving a late red card for a clumsy tackle for which he is set to miss the first two games of next season due to a three-game ban.
He has already had a family holiday ahead of Saturday’s crucial Group F clash at Hampden Park, which the Scots need to win to keep their hopes of qualification for Russia 2018 alive after losing two of their opening five games.
“You need to be 100 per cent because we are playing a very good England team with great quality,” he said.
“The 3-0 scoreline at Wembley looks an easy win for England but we had our chances.
“We were unfortunate and, although there were positives from that match, it was more the last result against Slovenia that changed everything.
“If we had come away from that with a draw, it would have been all doom and gloom, whereas we got the win with the late goal and that might just be the turning point that we needed in this campaign to push on us.
“It’s a bit of a role reversal from the Euros campaign where we started well then fell to pieces.
“This time we didn’t start well but are now building a bit of momentum that we are carrying into the England game.
“Hopefully that will take us through the rest of the campaign and get us the sort of results that will have us challenging.”