STEVEN NAISMITH has declared his intention of being fully fit for the start of the season – as he urged former club Rangers to drop the legal threat to his Everton FC future.
Naismith was unveiled at Finch Farm yesterday after arriving on a free transfer having refused to have his contract transferred to the newco Rangers.
The Glasgow giants are in the process of being liquidated and were this week kicked out of the Scottish Premier League.
Rangers’ chief executive Charles Green has written to all English clubs warning players who objected to the transfer of their contracts to the newco were in breach of contract.
It has emerged the Scottish club have withheld at least one registration, although players can obtain a temporary registration while the issue is ruled upon by FIFA.
But Naismith said: “That’ll be for the lawyers, agents and clubs to talk about. I’m really not interested in that. I just want to focus on the football side of things now.
“I’ve been talking a lot of legal stuff for months now.
“Rangers are going to look out for their best interests, understandably. I took advice on my situation and took the measures I believe are the proper professional ones.
“That’s all I can do. I’m just looking forward to playing football and talking about my new boots.”
Green has also vowed to seek compensation from players who have cancelled their contracts, but Everton manager David Moyes said: “I think there is a situation which will arise but I think both clubs will be talking.
“Obviously Rangers have to do what is right for their club but Everton will certainly do what is right for our club.”
Naismith hasn’t kicked a ball since sustaining a serious cruciate knee ligament injury last October.
However, the 25-year-old passed stringent medical tests at Finch Farm this week and has set himself a target of being involved ahead of the season opener at home to Manchester United, which will now take place on Monday, August 20.
“Yes, I’m fit,” said Naismith. “We are just getting checked over and seeing what stage I was at, this afternoon I’m going out training with the squad.
“We’ll keep an eye on it over pre-season but hopefully I’ll be involved with the majority of things with the squad.”
Moyes admits the situation at Rangers is a “tragedy” but believes the manner in which Everton conduct their business, despite regular accusations of not spending enough money or failing to find new investment, mean they are intent on not following suit.
“I couldn’t tell you all the ins and outs but I am looking at it and thinking isn’t it terrible a club of Rangers’ stature would even be in this position,” Moyes added.
“Sometimes at Everton we get criticised a little bit but you have to say we make sure the club is always functioning and always running and trying to keep its head above water and we have to do that.”
VIDEO: David Moyes on EFC summer transfers
Moyes will now focus on brokering a deal to bring Steven Pienaar back to Everton on a permanent basis from Tottenham Hotspur.
“I’m hoping to get some more business done, certainly before the season gets started,” said the Everton manager.
“We are keen (on Pienaar) and I hope in time we would be able to conclude that deal.
“I don’t know if the situation has changed (with Andre Villas-Boas coming in as new Spurs manager) but Steven has made it very clear he wants to come back here and my understanding is that hasn’t changed.”
Meanwhile, Jose Baxter has become a free agent after turning down the offer of a new contract at Everton.
Championship trio Burnley, Birmingham City and Crystal Palace are all interested in the young midfielder.