Writer: Peter Simcox
Date:Wednesday June 6 2007
The Rams have stepped up their transfer targets for next season and it's believed the Rams have put in a bid for Kilmarnock`s Scottish international striker Steven Naismith.
Kilmarnock Chairman Michael Johnston refused to reveal the source of the bid and said that it would take 'a special offer' to consider selling Naismith. The club have already rejected an offer from Rangers, the Ibrox side tabled £400,000 for the 20-year-old and the new approach comes from England, with the Rams on top of the list.
Rams boss Billy Davies was interested in Naismith last season, and the striker hit 18 goals for Killie and received his first call-up to the Scotland squad for this week's Euro 2008 qualifier in the Faroe Islands. But reports of a clause in his contract, which has three years still to run, that would trigger a sale at £1.5m are wide of the mark.
When asked if the latest offer was higher than Rangers', Johnston laughed: 'That wouldn't be hard, would it?' Johnston said in April that the Rugby Park club would not sell the striker for less than £1m. And he added: 'Steven is in no rush to leave Kilmarnock and we are in no hurry to move him on.'
Naismith said: 'Until I get a phone call from Kilmarnock, there's nothing I can do. The clubs would need to agree a fee first for me to speak to them.
'But I'd only want to move to a club that I think is right for me and I'm not going to rush into anything.'
Kilmarnock manager Jim Jefferies said: 'We don't have an exact valuation of Steven. I've said that in the past. 'He's been called up to the Scotland squad and is with us for another three years, so he is valuable to us on and off the park. 'And if he stays then it will help us consolidate our position in the SPL. 'If we don't get a fair price for a player who has his potential then he will stay.'
Date:Wednesday June 6 2007
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