Rukavytsya heads to Eredivisie

The Perth Glory is in the market for more forward firepower after confirming striker Nikita Rukavytsya's transfer to Dutch club FC Twente.

The Perth Glory is in the market for more forward firepower after confirming striker Nikita Rukavytsya's transfer to Dutch club FC Twente.

Glory chief executive Scott Gooch said the club had accepted an undisclosed transfer fee for the 21-year-old Australian Olympic representative, who polished off a fantastic season in the Hyundai A-League with his 10th goal of the campaign in last weekend's 4-2 loss to Queensland.

After trialling in the Netherlands at the start of the month, Twente made an offer for Rukavytsya just before the Queensland match, with the two clubs agreeing on a deal for the striker's transfer on Monday.

According to the FC Twente web site, Rukavytsya has been signed on until the end of 2010-11 season at the Eredivisie club, which is managed by former England and Middlesbrough boss Steve McLaren, with Twente holding an option to retain his services for another two seasons after that.

Gooch said the club would look at bringing in another striker to replace Rukavytsya, but wouldn't say whether the transfer fee would be used on a marquee player, the chief executive simply saying the money would be invested in the club's football department.

"We certainly won't be signing a marquee player for the sake of it," Gooch said on Tuesday.

"Prior to this agreement with Nikita, we'd identified that we'd like to get a marquee player."

"If the correct person is there, that will add some quality to this club, we'll certainly be looking at bringing in a player like that."

When asked specifically whether Qantas Socceroo Mile Sterjovski was a possible marquee signing from English Championship club Derby, Gooch was non-committal.

"We'd love to think that someone of that calibre or another Socceroo would be in a position to be coming back to the Hyundai A-League," Gooch said.

"We're already speaking with a number of agents around the world and if we identify a Socceroo that is willing to come back to Australia, or another international, we'll be pursuing that."

Gooch, however, hinted that the money could be invested in youth after the club's National Youth League side produced several first-team players, like Scott Neville, Andrija Jukic and Anthony Skorich, throughout the season.

"Nikita will be difficult to replace," he said. "But also, it's a fantastic opportunity for guys in our National Youth League squad to step up to the mark."

"It wasn't that long ago that Nikita had stepped out of the Australian Institute for Sport and no one knew who he was (either)."

Despite Rukavytsya flying out on Monday afternoon, the Glory still has the services of one key striker, having re-signed Eugene Dadi three weeks ago before allowing him out on loan to Liechtenstein-based FC Vaduz.

Gooch, though, said there was still several positions available on the Glory's roster for next season, with coach Dave Mitchell expected to discuss the future of several players later in the week.

Rukavytsya follows the likes of Mile Jedinak (Turkey), former Perth team-mate Dino Djlubic (Germany), Sasa Ognenovski (Korea) and Jade North (Korea) as Hyundai A-League players who have recently agreed to deals abroad.

FC Twente is no stranger to Australians either, Luke Wilkshire spent two years with the Eredivisie club before moving to Dinamo Moscow in August.

The club is also currently third in the Dutch Eredivisie and, with 15 matches left in the season, is in contention for a place in next year's UEFA Champions League.