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Kilmarnock boss Alessio gives ‘hands off’ warning over Taylor

Kilmarnock manager Angelo Alessio has told potential suitors of Greg Taylor that the Scotland international will not be leaving Rugby Park during the transfer window.

Alessio insists he and the club are determined to hold on to their best players after Celtic were linked with a move for Kilmarnock’s left-back following the £25 million transfer of Kieran Tierney to Arsenal.

Kilmarnock rejected a £500,000 bid from Bundesliga 2 outfit Nurnberg earlier this summer for the 21-year-old, who won his first Scotland cap in the Euro 2020 qualifier with Belgium in June.

Taylor is under contract for the next two years and Alessio is adamant he will not leave before the transfer window closes on September 2.

Alessio said: “I want to keep the best players in our team: Taylor, O’Donnell and other players.

“In the next two weeks I don’t think this player can go to other teams. I’ve read about Greg but I think they are just rumours.

“I don’t think (the club would sell him) because the club and I want to keep the best player in our team.”

The Rugby Park hierarchy and Stephen O’Donnell remain in talks over a new deal for the right-back.

He said: “I am happy to keep Stephen in the team but at this moment the club and Stephen are speaking.”

While Alessio does not want to see his players move on, he remains optimistic about adding new recruits to his squad.

He said: “We need to add other players up front but this is a very difficult market because other teams want the same players. Maybe next week we’ll have some players.

Killie face Hamilton for the second week in succession when they meet in the last 16 of the Betfred Cup on Saturday and Alessio is confident they can turn their form around after three defeats in a row.

He said: “Focus is important now because it seems like we are being punished for every error in defence and in attack we are failing to take our chances.

“It’s important to analyse our mistakes and find a solution.

“I believe a good run in the cup creates confidence and another focus for our season. It’s also important to give the fans something to be proud of.

“I understand in this moment we been defeated in games but, at the same time, I’m optimistic because the first victory will come soon because I can see the team play well, play good football, create opportunities to score but at the same time we are being punished for every error in defence at this moment.

“We want to change this situation and I hope in the next game we score goals because we need to.”