St Johnstone captain Jason Kerr is disappointed he is unlikely to come up against Colombian legend Radamel Falcao on his European debut for the Perth side.
But the double-winning skipper knows Galatasaray will have another star man to take the former Manchester United striker’s place.
The 35-year-old ex-Atletico Madrid and Monaco forward has been told to find a new club as part of a cost-cutting drive in Itsanbul.
Chairman Burak Elmas is trying to get the veteran number nine and Sofiane Feghouli off the wage bill as the Turkish giants embark on a squad rebuild in the wake of their 7-2 Champions League loss to PSV Eindhoven.
They have both been named in Fatih Terim’s Uefa squad for the Europa League third round qualifier against Saints and Kerr had his heart set on going head-to-head with the South American great.
“I would rather he did play,” he said. “You want to play against the top players and the top teams.
“But it’s obviously good if one of their best players is missing out even though I’m sure they’ll have another striker who can slot in.
“Anybody we are up against will be really tough, but we were good defensively last season, so we can be confident.”
No thoughts on leaving Saints
Kerr is one of a number of Saints players who have been linked with moves out of McDiarmid Park on the back of last season’s Hampden heroics but his imperious performance against Ross County at the weekend was proof that speculation hasn’t affected him.
“My head is fully focused on this season and on St Johnstone,” he said.
“It always has been even when there was interest.
“It has been a busy time and it’s going to get even busier this month with league and European games as well as the Premier Sports Cup starting.
— St. Johnstone FC (@StJohnstone) July 24, 2021
“So I am not thinking about anything like that. It’s a really exciting time to be involved with St Johnstone so that’s where all my focus is.
“There has been interest in numerous players but that just shows how well we did last season and it’s flattering.”