Kilmarnock boss Steve Clarke expressed his dismay over Greg Stewart’s loan move to Aberdeen following his side’s William Hill Scottish Cup fourth-round win over Forfar.
Stewart had been on loan at Rugby Park for the first half of the season, scoring eight goals, but was recalled by Birmingham.
Kilmarnock, who defeated League One Forfar 2-0 thanks to goals from Stuart Findlay and Chris Burke, were keen to bring the striker back on loan but he has instead gone to Pittodrie.
While Clarke stressed he has no problems with Stewart’s decision, he is adamant something does not smell right about the deal.
Clarke said: “I only want to talk about players who are committed to Kilmarnock and want to play for us.
“If I am honest, the whole deal had a slightly strange smell right from the very start, but that happens in football.
“So we’ll move on and I’ll work with players who want to be here and, hopefully, they do just as well in the second half of the season.”
Asked what he meant by a strange smell, Clarke clarified: “Bull***t.
“I am not talking about the player here. It’s not the player. It’s the deal. But the deal is private and what happens when you speak with other clubs stays private.
“You can work it out. Look at the deal.”
Findlay opened the scoring at Rugby Park with a spectacular first-half volley but Clarke claimed that was not the defender’s best goal this week.
He said: “It was second-best finish of the week. He hit one into the top corner in training from 40 yards. An unbelievable strike.
“I said to him: ‘You’ll never do that in a game’.
“Then he comes out and smashes one, so it was nice to see and the last word goes to big Stuart on that one.”
Forfar manager Jim Weir was proud of his side’s display despite the result.
He said: “I knew the draw was tough, Kilmarnock are a great side, one point off the top of the Premiership, so I wanted to make sure that the players and the club left here with a lot of respect.
“I think we did that, we gave a good account of ourselves.”