Hearts facing battle for Mehdi Taouil signature

Kilmarnock midfielder Mehdi Taouil
Taouil has been a Kilmarnock regular since leaving Montpellier

Kilmarnock caretaker Kenny Shiels is resigned to losing Mehdi Taouil but thinks the midfielder could end up on the Continent and not Hearts.

The 27-year-old has been offered a new contract but also held talks with the Rugby Park club's Scottish Premier League rivals.

"I think there's other interest," Shiels told BBC Scotland.

"I am hearing rumours, as we all do in football, and it seems like the Continent is a possibility for him."

Shiels has started planning for next season despite still only being in interim charge following last month's departure of Mixu Paatelainen to become Finland coach.

But he is doing so in the belief that he will be seeking someone to replace Taouil, who joined Kilmarnock in 2007 after leaving Montpellier.

"Mehdi is a quality player who we will lose," Shiels said of the French-born Morocco international.

"Realistically, I am looking at it - the club have made him a good offer to renew his contract.

"If he is going to Hearts, he goes with my best wishes because financially that would be better for him.

"But, having said that, I don't know if that will be the outcome."

Kilmarnock will also this summer be looking to replace midfield playmaker Alexei Eremenko.

The Finnish international will return to Metalist Kharkiv at the end of his season-long loan and expects to be sold by the Ukrainian club.