Northern Ireland striker Kyle Lafferty is back at a happy hunting ground.
Just over six months after leaving Kilmarnock in acrimonious circumstances, Lafferty has returned to Rugby Park and is set to sign a short-term deal until the end of the season under new boss Derek McInnes.
The 34-year-old joined Killie last February when former Northern Ireland goalkeeper Tommy Wright was the manager and proceeded to become a huge fans’ favourite by scoring 13 goals in 13 games as the Ayrshire side tried to stave off relegation.
But Lafferty’s goals couldn’t stop Killie going down to the Scottish Championship after losing out to Dundee in a relegation play-off. Shortly after, despite their desire to keep him, Killie felt compelled to sever ties with Lafferty after the player’s agent asked for a “significant increase” in wages for his client.
Lafferty subsequently moved to Cyprus in the summer and joined Anorthosis Famagusta but that came to an abrupt end last month after just 11 appearances and one goal scored.
Now McInnes has moved quickly to snap up the free agent capped 85 times by Northern Ireland.
The Kesh-born striker was a man in demand with Dundee and even Linfield linked with a move for him but the former Rangers and Hearts hitman fancies another spell at Killie.
Lafferty couldn’t save Kilmarnock from the drop but will now be asked to fire them to promotion.
Kilmarnock currently sit third in the Scottish Championship, four points behind leaders Arbroath with a game in hand.
McInnes has been reshaping his Killie squad with three new signings — Daniel Mackay, Dylan Tait and Ash Taylor — to bolster their push for an immediate return to the cinch Premiership.
Although recently left out of international squads by manager Ian Baraclough, the Northern Ireland boss said he hadn’t finished the Ulsterman’s international career.