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Hearts grant St Mirren permission to speak to Steven Naismith

The Paisley side will interview Naismith as they look for a new manager.

Hearts grant St Mirren permission to speak to Steven Naismith SNS Group

Hearts have given St Mirren permission to interview Steven Naismith for their managerial vacancy.

The Paisley side are looking to appoint a successor to Jim Goodwin, who left the Buddies to join Aberdeen.

Former Scotland international Naismith has emerged as a leading candidate for the job and will now speak to St Mirren.

The 35-year-old retired from playing last year after a career that saw him star for Kilmarnock, Rangers, Everton, Norwich and Hearts.

After hanging up his boots, Naismith took on a player development role at Tynecastle and has since managed the under-18s at the club, as well as work with Steve Clarke as part of the Scotland coaching set-up.

Former St Mirren boss Jack Ross has also been linked with the job, as has Aberdeen player-coach Scott Brown.

Speaking after his first game in charge of Aberdeen, Goodwin said he hadn’t yet spoken to Brown about the speculation but that he planned on having the veteran midfielder in his squad.

“I know there’s speculation but I don’t know anything about it, I haven’t been told anything about it,” the Dons manager said.

“Right now, I am planning on Scott being a player for me between now and the end of the season.

“His title is there as player-coach. I am very hands-on on the training pitch and I haven’t had time to look at the structure but I take the majority of sessions backed up by my assistant Lee Sharp.

“These are all conversations going forward but for now, Scott remains an Aberdeen player until somebody tells me different.”

St Mirren currently sit seventh in the Premiership table and face hearts in the Scottish Cup quarter-finals next month.