Sunderland are trying to sign Ross County right-back Jason Naismith on a permanent basis, according to journalist Alan Nixon.

Jack Ross is eyeing up Ross County ace Jason Naismith as his first signing as manager of Sunderland. Ross knows the defender well from his time in charge of St Mirren, where Naismith played games as a centre-back but he excelled at right-back.

A product of the St Mirren youth academy, Naismith made his debut for the club in February 2012 and, having already been capped by Scotland at under 17 level, went to to earn call ups to the under 18s, 19s and 21s.

Despite suffering relegation with Ross County last season,  Naismith is was widely viewed as one of the best full-backs in the Scottish Premiership.

His height adds to the presence of the team in either boxes and he can deliver excellent crosses and he managed to scoop the player’s player of the year award for last season.

Ross County co-manager Steven Ferguson told The Press and Journal: “Jason is under contact – he’s our player and if someone wants him they need to come buy him. We’re OK with that. He’s a fantastic player and has done really well. If he’s got aspirations to play in the Premiership, then someone is going to have to pay the going rate for him.”

Aberdeen were linked with a move for Naismith yesterday but as he is under contract in Dingwall until 2020, County will demand a fee for the 23-year-old.

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