Hearts are close to securing the permanent signing of on-loan striker Steven Naismith when his Norwich City contract ends this summer, according to a report.

The Express claim that the Jambos have won the race for the 32-year-old’s signature after he spent the last 18 months on loan at Tynecastle.

20th January 2019, Tynecastle Park, Edinburgh, Scotland; Scottish Cup football fourth round, Heart of Midlothian versus Livingston; Referee William Collum speaks with Steven Naismith of Hearts about his slide tackle on Dolly Menga

(photo by Alan Rennie/Action Plus via Getty Images)

Naismith is currently sidelined after undergoing knee surgery but has been a vital player for Craig Levein’s side this season.

The former Rangers star admitted previously that he had interest from MLS and was taking his time to make his decision over where his next move would be.

23rd October 2018, Dens Park, Dundee, Scotland; Ladbrokes Premiership football, Dundee versus Heart of Midlothian; Steven Naismith of Heart of Midlothian applauds the fans as he was substituted

(photo by David Young/Action Plus via Getty Images)

Naismith will almost certainly have to take a massive cut in wages to sign on permanently at Tynecastle but it’s clear that the former Everton man has been enjoying his football in Gorgie.

Since arriving at Hearts, Naismith has scored 18 times in 43 appearances – with six of those coming this season.

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - SEPTEMBER 10: Steven Naismith of Scotland during the UEFA Nations League C group one match between Scotland and Albania at Hampden Park on September 10, 2018 in Glasgow, United Kingdom.

(Photo by James Williamson – AMA/Getty Images)

Keeping such an important player around will be a massive boost for Craig Levein’s side as they look to pull away from rivals Hibs in the league.

With a few more strong signings then he Jambos could well have one of the strongest sides in the Premiership next season.