ANGELO Alessio could not have stressed his point strongly enough or have been more obvious.

When as a player a bigger team came in for him, the Italian joined them at the end of the season and not, repeat not, at the first chance he had.

At the beginning of the 1986/87 campaign, when Alessio was at one of Serie A’s smaller names, Avellino, The Old Lady herself, Juventus, made her move for the midfielder. The 21-year-old didn’t say no, but it was agreed that he stayed where he was for the next year before moving to Turin.

The Kilmarnock manager wouldn’t mind history repeating itself in terms of his left-back, Greg Taylor, and a much-talked about potential move to Celtic.


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Taylor is the same age as Alessio was when Juventus came in for him and should Celtic make a good offer, as seems more likely than not, the player isn’t going to say no – and his manager knows this.

Niko Hamalainen, a left-back, was signed on loan from Queens Park Rangers this week, and while Alessio insisted the young Englishman was a rival, not a replacement, the Kilmarnock support believe the excellent Taylor is destined for pastures new, and soon.

We shall see.

Alessio said: “I spoke with the team right at the beginning, and the board and owner, and we all agree that we want to keep our best players.

“This is the situation. I know there are rumours about Celtic and other teams. It’s just rumours right now. It is difficult for any club to keep their best players. I understand that if we receive a big offer for our player, it is difficult for that player to turn down the offer because it (Celtic) is a great, great club. It would be hard for him to reject this move.

“It happened to me during my career. At the beginning of my career, I was at a small club and Juventus offered me a move. That was very difficult for me. The club at the end of the season, not at the beginning, did sell me to Juventus.

“It is important for the club and for me that Greg stays for one more season. The next year, we shall see. For me, it’s very important Greg Taylor stays here.”


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Aberdeen visit Rugby Park on Saturday. Kilmarnock have nothing to show from their two Premiership games, although they beat Hamilton in the Betfred Cup, and the manager admitted he is in dire need of getting points on the table.

Alessio said: “Aberdeen are a good team. This is a tough game for us. They have quality players, strong players but, for us, it’s time we won some points in the Premiership. This is what we want to achieve.

“I know that Kilmarnock finished above Aberdeen last season. Can we do it again? After two games, it’s very early to think about this. Our focus is game to game. All we are thinking about is beating Aberdeen. I don’t look that far ahead.

“We are getting better. I have changed some things in the last game (against Hamilton) and many of the players gave me good answers to what I asked of them. We won the game. What we need now is to continue in this way.

“We want another good result but I know for this to happen, we need to play well again – to play better to do more against Aberdeen.”

Jack Hendry of Celtic is on the Italian’s radar and, at last, the manager is putting together his own team.

Alessio said: “At the moment, we are still missing players. However, I think the players who we have brought in will help us in this competition and his season.

“Niko is a young player with a lot of potential. I saw a lot of him at Queens Park Rangers. I want to two players for every position, and I’ve said this before. Greg is at left-back but it’s normal to want two for every position in the team.

"At the moment we're having a lot of conversations and we want to add new players this week or next. There are a lot of situations but at this moment only conversations. We need to complete the squad with another centre-back as we only have three."