Australia striker Nikita Rukavytsya has sealed a transfer deadline day move back to the Bundesliga with FC Mainz making a late swoop.
The 25-year-old had been chasing a move away from Hertha Berlin since its relegation last season to Robbie Kruse’s Fortuna Dusseldorf and with just three hours left before the closure of the European transfer window, the Ukraine-born former Perth Glory forward was on his way to Mainz to sign the contract.
Rukavytsya, recalled to the Australia squad for the 7 September friendly against Lebanon and FIFA World Cup qualifier with Jordan five days later, was first linked with the club in July after Hertha’s demotion.
And the deal finally materialised at the eleventh hour after Rukavytsya was left out of Hertha’s opening two games of the 2.Bundesliga season.
The games against Lebanon and Jordan could provide slick and quick Rukavytsya with the opportunity to make a definitive statement.
He endured a disappointing 2011-2012, appearing in only 25 games, while scoring a mere two goals along with four assists for Hertha.
Of those 25 appearances, only 16 were starts – a stark contrast to the previous season when he was pivotal to Hertha's promotion - scoring four goals and creating another 13.
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