15 Jan Naismith’s future is in his own hands, says Martinez
Everton forward Steven Naismith remains in limbo while he is injured but manager Roberto Martinez admits a decision to leave lies with the Scotland international.
While the Toffees boss continues to try to strengthen his squad by bringing in Leeds full-back Sam Byram, for whom the club had a £5million offer accepted on Thursday, he is almost resigned to the departure of Naismith.
The 29-year-old has made just five starts this season – the last in mid-October – and the club received a bid for him from Norwich in the last transfer window but it came too late for Everton to find a replacement and so was rejected.
However, it was allowed to stay on the table and despite Swansea caretaker boss Alan Curtis expressing an interest this week it appears the Canaries are the only one to come up with a definitive offer.
An ankle problem has kept Naismith out of the squad recently but Martinez has not ruled out him leaving before the end of the month.
“There has been no approach (from Swansea). There has been another Premier League club that has made a lot of progress in that respect,” he said.
“Everything is more or less agreed in terms of a possible transfer.
“At the moment the priority is to see Steven fully fit and available and then probably we will have a sit down and decide the next step.”
Asked whether the decision was now the player’s, Martinez added: “It is up to a point but it has to be right for everyone.
“We are open to the Steven Naismith situation because in the last days of the previous window it’s an open secret Steven wanted to know about his future, and at that time we couldn’t replace him and it wasn’t right to do that.
“That’s been there since day one on January 1. It’s never been a question of welcoming approaches and offers, it’s making sure we sit down with the player and he’s clear with the next step of his career.
“The promise was we would review it in the next window and see how he is. Steven is in a position where he hasn’t played as much as he would have liked as a senior player.
“It’s very much in the player’s hands to be able to make the right call.”