Steven Naismith expects Beni Baningime to put pen to paper on a contract extension at Heart of Midlothian.

The midfielder, who joined Hearts from Everton in 2021, is out of contract at the end of the season and has delayed committing his future to the club.

However, Naismith believes that the No.6 will be playing at Tynecastle Park next season.

When the head coach was asked if he Baningime would sign an extension, he replied: “Yeah, we’re really hopeful. And I think with the type of character Beni is, he always wants to make sure he is making the right decisions.

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“He has been in the Premier League in England and suffered some setbacks. He had some bad moves out on loan, he then has a period with injury, so I think he has taken his time to see what he has got and what’s on offer elsewhere. The signs are that he’s going to sign so that would be fantastic if that comes off for us.”

The club confirmed that Peter Haring, Andy Halliday and Michael McGovern will be leaving Gorgie this summer when their deals expire but Naismith does not expect there to be a massive overhaul during the close season.

“Who knows,” Naismith said when asked if more players would be following Haring, Halliday and McGovern out the door. “I think the squad overall has all contributed at different levels and there will definitely be players sitting who will have wanted to play more minutes.

“But, as with every summer, players will look where they are within the squad and what options they have got. And us as a coaching staff want to constantly improve, so there will be movement in some respects but I’ve not really got an idea of exactly what that will be.

“The three players that are moving on – Andy and Pete have had long affiliations with the club over the years and I think they both made a huge contribution to the club. I’m sure that the Hearts fans will look at them and think of fond memories and what they achieved at the club.”

With a minimum of eight European fixtures to look forward to next season, it could be argued that a bigger squad is required to deal with the rigours of juggling domestic and continental football – but Naismith is not planning on making sweeping changes. There will be incomings, but players won’t be brought to Gorgie simply because they are available.

“Not massive amounts,” Naismith said. “I think it will depend on if players move on in terms of then needing to replace them.

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“We have had a good season and loads of players have done well. I’m not naïve and think that players won’t attract interest but we need to wait and see, and we will only do what is right for us. On the flip of that, even if we are strong in an area, if we feel there is a player that might in the coming years help us and progress us, then that is something that we might do.

“We will manage the squad size throughout the season but this isn’t going to be a knee-jerk reaction. We have put a lot of work in from last summer to this summer, so we know where we want to improve. We know other players out there that we think might improve us, even if we’re strong in that position. So we will just wait and see how it plays out.”