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Page last updated at 22:05 GMT, Monday, 13 December 2010

Rangers remain hopeful of retaining Steven Naismith

Steven Naismith
Naismith arrived at Rangers from Kilmarnock in 2007

Rangers remain hopeful of tying Steven Naismith to a new long-term deal at Ibrox in the near future.

The Scotland forward has 18 months to run on his current deal, but the club is keen to keep him beyond that.

"I've had a few discussions with him and his representatives," said Rangers chief executive Martin Bain.

"He's a great boy, and he's come in to the team and done exceptionally well. He's a young lad we would hope to hold on to for a number of years to come."

Naismith eventually arrived at Ibrox from from Kilmarnock for a fee of £1.9m after Rangers failed with repeated offers for the 20-year-old.

Walter Smith signed him in the final few minutes of the 2007 summer transfer window and he has proven to be a popular figure with the Glasgow club, something Bain would like to see extended.

I don't see Kenny Miller going anywhere in January. It's in my hands to say we are not selling Kenny

Rangers chief executive Martin Bain

"Steven has indicated his willingness to sign an extension to his contract," said Bain.

"It would be the right thing for the club to extend his contract, and he's very deserving of it.

"Hopefully, I'll be able to move forward with that and try to agree a contract with him."

Bain, who said talks will begin soon with defender Sasa Papac, said he had no intention of selling Kenny Miller in January, despite the impasse over the striker's contract talks.

The 31-year-old has rejected the club's latest offer and could leave for nothing at the end of the season.

But, despite Rangers' debt problems, Martin Bain sees no logic in selling.

"My stance on selling in January - and I am sure that Walter's is the same - is that the squad is weak in terms of number and in depth," he said.

"We are going to need everybody we can to win the championship and Kenny is going to be a big part of that.

"I don't see Kenny going anywhere in January. It's in my hands to say we are not selling Kenny."

Bain has not ruled out a deal being struck, although he has been "back and forth several times" to the former Celtic player's agent.

And the Rangers chief executive praised Miller, who has scored 20 goals for Rangers this season, for remaining focused despite the uncertainty.

"From a club view, we have to look at the correct governance, the age of players and the length of contracts they want and the amount of money he wishes to be paid," Bain said.

"Then, he is a player on form delivering goals. I've certain targets I have to meet within a business plan, so there is a bit of a juggling act."

With tycoon Craig Whyte still weighing up a takeover deal, Miller could yet secure the deal he is looking for in the long run.

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see also
Rangers reluctant to sell Miller
10 Dec 10 |  Rangers
Naismith makes late Rangers move
31 Aug 07 |  Kilmarnock

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