Kilmarnock pair could move abroad despite being offered deals

By Kenny CrawfordBBC Sport Scotland
Alexei Eremenko (right) shakes hands with Kilmarnock team-mate Manuel Pascali at full-time.
Alexei Eremenko (right) shakes hands with Kilmarnock team-mate Manuel Pascali at full-time.

Kilmarnock manager Gary Locke says Alexei Eremenko and Manuel Pascali have been offered new deals, but both are seriously considering moving abroad.

Killie captain Pascali, who missed the 2-1 defeat to Ross County, has options in his native Italy while playmaker Eremenko may move to Asia.

"Alexei's at the stage of his career when this is probably the last contract he's going to sign," said Locke.

"There is in interest in him from abroad as well."

Striker Lee Miller tweeted on Saturday that this would be his last match for the club. The former Aberdeen and Dundee United forward scored once in an injury interrupted campaign.

"We'll sit down with him (Eremenko) in the next couple of days because if he is going to move I want to get some fresh faces in," Locke told BBC Scotland.

"If he does stay he showed today he is a magnificent football player.

"Manuel has had an offer from the club and he's not sure at the moment what he wants to do.

"But from my point of view we'll need to get a decision from him very shortly.

"I've not got mountains of money to make wholesale changes, but I've got enough to freshen things up."

The average age of the Kilmarnock starting XI that lost to County was 22. Conor Brennan played in goal, while 18-year old Aaron Splaine made his senior debut in central midfield.

Goal scorer Greg Kiltie - also 18 - had put Killie in front before Liam Boyce and Rocco Quinn hit back for County.

"The encouraging side was the amount of young lads we had on the pitch," said Locke.

"It's great to see but because the team is so young, it's a steep learning curve because if you make a mistake at this level you get punished.

"Aaron Splaine on his debut handled himself brilliantly. He gets to 70 minutes and starts cramping up so it shows we've got a lot of work to do in terms of getting fitter."