Israeli champions target Nikita Rukavytsya

Australian Nikita Rukavytsya could be playing UEFA Champions League football this season with reports he’s close to penning a two-year deal with Israeli champions Maccabi Tel Aviv.

The 27-year-old, who has 13 Socceroos caps to his name, is currently contracted with German Bundesliga club FSV Mainz but spent last week trialing with Maccabi in Austria.

Rukavytsya played the first half of Maccabi’s 0-0 friendly draw with Sturm Graz last Friday, while he also passed a medical earlier in the training camp.

Maccabi ended their Austrian training camp on Monday and it is understood talks have since progressed with Rukavytsya about a potential deal.

The former Perth Glory man has another year on his Mainz contract but has been out of favour at the club under Thomas Tuchel.

Rukavytsya spent last season on loan at second tier outfit FSV Frankfurt alongside Mathew Leckie where he failed to impress.

Maccabi Tel Aviv won last season’s Israeli Premier League by seven points and are due to face Andorra champions Santa Coloma next week in the second qualifying round for the UEFA Champions League.