Striker Kyle Lafferty leaves Kilmarnock 'by mutual consent'

Kilmarnock announced the surprise departure before the transfer deadline.

Northern Ireland striker Kyle Lafferty leaves Kilmarnock ‘by mutual consent’ SNS Group

Northern Ireland striker Kyle Lafferty has parted company with Kilmarnock just hours before the closing of the January transfer window.

The Ayrshire club announced that Lafferty had left Rugby Park “by mutual consent”. As a free agent, Lafferty will be able to sign for other teams after the transfer window has closed.

A brief statement from the club noted “regret” at the forward’s departure. It read: “It’s with regret that Kyle Lafferty and Kilmarnock Football Club have parted company by mutual consent. We thank Kyle for his service to the club.”

The well-travelled former Rangers and Hearts striker had returned to the club for a second spell in January 2022, initially until the end of the season. By May he had committed to another year and was first choice striker as Kilmarnock won the Championship and earned a return to the top flight.

Lafferty remained a key player in manager Derek McInnes’ plans at the start of the season but he was involved in serious controversy in September.

Video footage emerged of the striker using sectarian language and that brought a charge from the Scottish FA. An independent tribunal imposed a 10-match ban that ruled him out of all football activities until the new year.

Lafferty returned to the team for the Viaplay Cup semi-final against Celtic earlier this month and subsequently played against Rangers and Ross County.

He will now be looking for a new club while Kilmarnock are expected to move for a striker in the remaining time available.

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