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50-50: Liverpool vs. Real Madrid

Champions League 13 hours ago
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By ESPN Staff
Aug 27, 2006

Kilmarnock striker Naismith set for Arsenal trial

Kilmarnock chairman Michael Johnston has confirmed Arsenal's interest in striker Steven Naismith.

The 19-year-old will travel to north London to meet Gunners manager Arsene Wenger after today's Bank of Scotland Premier League game against Rangers and undergo a short trial tomorrow and Tuesday.

The Scotland Under-21 international will then return for the European Championship qualifier against France in Aberdeen on Friday.

Johnston said: 'Steven is going down there for Arsenal to have a look at him in training and have some discussions with Arsene Wenger.

'He will be going down for tomorrow and Tuesday, but we have reached no agreement with Arsenal and no figure has been discussed.

'Apparently, this is how Arsenal and Arsene Wenger work - he likes to meet players he is interested in in training.

'They did want him to go down earlier but we could not spare him at the time they went on their training camp, so this is the alternative which has been put in place so they can see him in the flesh.

'There has been a lot of interest from a number of different clubs and there have been various approaches and offers, which we have rejected.'

Kilmarnock manager Jim Jefferies believes the training session with Arsenal will act as a boost for Naismith.

He told BBC Scotland: 'A month ago, Arsenal asked if there would be a chance to look at Steven for a couple of days.

'I refused because I was concentrating on the new season and they understood that.

'Obviously, with the international weekend coming up, we can allow to go down there for a few days next week.

'I spoke to Steven and his parents about it and told them it was their decision.

'There are no guarantees he will go there but it is a big lift for the lad to have a club of the size of Arsenal taking an interest in him.

'It is a great experience for him and he is a level-headed character, so he will not get carried away with it.'

Naismith was voted Young Player of the Year last season after amassing 13 goals to help Killie to a fifth-place finish in the SPL.

He has already scored three times in five appearances so far this season.