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Jan, 24, 2009

Rukavytsya on verge of joining FC Twente

Star Perth Glory striker Nikita Rukavytsya could be on his way to the Netherlands as early as next week after Dutch first division side FC Twente made an offer for the 21-year-old A-League player.

Rukavytsya, who is contracted to the Glory for another season, impressed FC Twente during his recent one-week trial there and is keen on a move to Europe to further his career.

Perth chief executive Scott Gooch hinted that a transfer deal was likely to be completed in the coming days.

"Nikita is keen to take this opportunity and as a club we're willing to facilitate the transfer if the deal is right," Gooch said on Sunday.

"There are still some negotiations to take place and we'd expect that to happen over the next couple of days."

FC Twente made the offer for Rukavytsya just before kick-off in the Glory's 4-2 loss to Queensland on Saturday night.

Rukavytsya scored the opening goal of the match, taking his season tally to 10 goals.

"You could see why he is in demand," Perth coach Dave Mitchell said after the match.

"Nikita has a great future in front of him and if the negotiations are successful and he leaves Perth Glory then he will do so with our blessing and the best wishes for a successful career."

Rukavytsya, who represented Australia at the Beijing Olympics, moved to Western Australia from Ukraine in his early teens and instantly fell in love with Perth Glory.

In 2007, he was plucked from the WA State League by then-Glory coach Ron Smith to play the final three games of the 2006-07 A-League campaign before earning a fulltime contract with Perth in 2007-08.

His electrifying pace and potent left foot made him an instant hit with Glory fans, while his partnership up front with Ivory Coast striker Eugene Dadi netted 20 goals for the club this season.

Rukavytsya will become the second Glory player to make the move to Europe this season after defender Dino Djulbic secured a deal with German second division side Rot Weiss Ahlen earlier this month.

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