Kilmarnock eye deals for Eremenko and Maksimenko

Alexei Eremenko could be set to rejoin Kilmarnock. Picture: Getty

Alexei Eremenko could be set to rejoin Kilmarnock. Picture: Getty

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KILMARNOCK are working on deals to bring in former player Alexei Eremenko and Brighton defender Vitalijs Maksimenko.

However, manager Allan Johnston has warned that a deal to bring playmaker Eremenko back to Rugby Park remains in the balance.

The Finland international made a huge impression when he spent the 2010-11 season on loan at Kilmarnock and is now a free agent following a spell in Kazakhstan.

Johnston said: “We’re interested in a lot of players and he is definitely one we are interested in. I think he is coming in later on in the week. Obviously, he is a quality player and you are trying to bring in players that are going to make a difference to your squad. We will take our time and, hopefully, get it sorted. Time will tell.”

Maksimenko, 23, has made only two appearances for Brighton since joining from Skonto Riga a year ago but is a regular for Latvia. Kilmarnock are trying to sign him on loan until the end of the season.

“He should be in tomorrow all going well,” Johnston said yesterday. “He can play centre-half or left-back. He’s a Latvian international and he is at the right age as well. We are looking to bring in more than two. We’re looking at a few players but nothing is over the line yet.”

Kilmarnock have also been linked with a move for former St Johnstone and Inverness striker Gregory Tade but the 27-year-old, placed on the transfer list 
at CFR Cluj after a tumultuous first six months in Romania, says that he is reluctant to make a “backwards” step to Scotland.

Despite rumours linking him with a move to Hibs to be re-united with former Inverness manager Terry Butcher, no formal contact has yet been made. Kilmarnock are the only Scottish club to have yet made tentative enquiries regarding Tade, according to a source close to the player, with further interest coming from France, Israel and the Chinese Superleague.

“I would not shut the door to Scotland, but I feel it would be a bit of a step backwards after two years in the SPL and more in the lower leagues,” said the former Forfar, Stranraer, Clyde and Raith Rovers man.

“I know what Scottish football is about and I left to come to Romania and do something new.

“I am looking for something down in England, maybe, as my game would be suited to the game there. There is still time in the January transfer window, and somewhere else in Europe would also be an option. My agent is working very hard. I am 27 so maybe it is time to try something new again.”

Meanwhile, Johnston is not surprised to hear that Kris Boyd has been linked with a move to Blackpool, where the striker’s former Rangers team-mate, Barry Ferguson, has taken charge of training following the sacking of Paul Ince.

“You wouldn’t be surprised that people are going to be looking at Boydy,” Johnston said. “He’s a proven goalscorer. I want to keep him here but it would be the chairman’s decision.”

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