Naismith: Hearts happy to wait until end of window for Fraser loan

Change at Charlton has put Scott Fraser's loan in limbo.

Steven Naismith is adamant Hearts are willing to wait until the end of the transfer window to seal the signing of Scott Fraser on loan from Charlton.

The 28-year-old former Dundee United midfielder agreed to join the Jambos earlier this week, and is excited to return to his homeland for the remainder of the campaign.

However, the deal appears to have been placed in jeopardy as Charlton are currently without a manager after sacking Michael Appleton on Tuesday.

Naismith explained that Hearts are so keen to land Fraser that they have no plans to pull the plug on the move despite the unforeseen delay.

“Circumstances at Charlton’s end are what it is, they’re in the process of changing manager which is not going to make it straightforward,” the Jambos boss explained on Tuesday.

“It should be stressed that this (signing) isn’t a knee-jerk reaction, he’s somebody we’ve monitored and had interest in.

“There seems to be an opportunity to get a deal done so we’ll take the time we need to see if we can get it done this window.

“Obviously when a new manager comes in, he’ll have conversations to see where everybody’s head is at and what the situation is, and we’ll take it from there.”

Fraser has been in Scotland this week waiting to start work with Hearts and Naismith admits it is a test of character for the former Burton and MK Dons playmaker.

“It is always tough for players in these situations but the flipside of it is that he’s got a good contract with another club who he is employed by,” he said.

“From personal experience, these situations are tough but one of the characteristics we really like about him is his experience, his professionalism and his will to want to improve, so I think he’s experienced enough to keep himself ready for all eventualities that may come in the next week.

“The end point will be when the window closes. I think both clubs have been honest and straightforward with each other. If it happens, it happens. If it doesn’t, it doesn’t.”

Beyond the potential arrival of Fraser, Naismith is “not expecting much to happen” this transfer window. Lawrence Shankland’s future has been the subject of speculation, but the manager said there was no change on the striker’s situation, with no clubs having made an approach.

Burnley, Blackburn and Ipswich have been loosely linked with 23-year-old Hearts left-back Alex Cochrane this week, but Naismith – whose side host Aberdeen on Saturday – said: “It’s speculation. There’s not been anything.

“As a club, we’ve got to take it as a positive that teams are looking for our players. It’s always going to happen when we’re doing well. The model of the club needs to be that.

“We need to identify young players that we can make better, that can improve us as a club, and at the end of the day we don’t stand in their way because if they want to move on, they’ll have done good work.

“The deal needs to be right for us. Everybody in the club is aligned with that model. We’ll see what happens.”

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