JEFFERIES WANTS NAYSMITH TO STAY
By David Allen. Last Updated: January 1, 1970 1:00am
HEARTS manager Jim Jefferies has revealed that he will fight to keep Gary Naysmith at the club, following speculation linking him with a move to Holland.
The 21-year-old Scottish international defender - who has two years left on his Tynecastle contract - has been linked with a move to FC Twente Enschede in the Dutch League, as well as expressing an interest in playing in the Premiership.
However, Jefferies has pledged to offer him a new contract this season, in a bid to prevent a similar situation to that which saw Paul Ritchie leave for Bolton on a Bosman transfer months after he turned down a £900,000 bid from Rangers for him.
"This season Hearts will offer Gary a new contract," he said. "With two years of his existing deal left, there is no problem this season but, the following season, if he rejects our offer, it will be obvious that Gary sees his future elsewhere.
"If he is to move on, then that's his perogative but, at the same time, Hearts have to move ahead with the players who want to stay.
"Hopefully we can convince Gary to sign a new contract. He has been a regular for four or five seasons, enjoys it here and we want him to stay as long as possible."