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Kilmarnock face race against time to sign Papa Idris and Reuben Gabriel

The Nigerian pair have been given work permit endorsements but must be signed by Sunday.

Kenny Shiels
SNS Group

Kilmarnock are on the verge of signing Nigerian duo Papa Idris and Reuben Gabriel provided they can beat Sunday's registration deadline.

STV understands the Rugby Park side have gained work permit endorsements from the Scottish FA for the pair, who are both free agents having left Kano Pillars earlier in the season.

Killie boss Kenny Shiels is concerned the club won't conclude the deals before the SPL deadline to register free agents for the remainder of the campaign but, if successful, says both will add valuable experience at the back.

"There's a lot of stuff needs to be done," the Kilmarnock boss told STV. "International Transfer Certificate, paperwork, all that sort of stuff.

"There's two international players we've been speaking to. They would be really good for the development of our young players.

"We need that international experience in there to try and help them.

"Defending is difficult because we get forward so much and leave holes in the sides.

"That's the way we play - with an attacking philosophy. Sometimes there is trade off when you do that."

Defender Idris, 23, has been capped three times by his country while midfielder Gabriel, 22, was in the Nigeria squad for the recent Africa Cup of Nations.

Shiels also confirmed his interest in Inverness Caledonian Thistle goalkeeper Antonio Reguero, who is available on a free in the summer.

"I spoke to Terry Butcher about it when we played them at the end of January to make it clear I was interested and that we might be offering him a pre-contract," he said.

"I just wanted to let him know out of courtesy. We'll see how that goes."

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