YOUSSOUF MULUMBU was one of three Celtic first team squad members to leave the champions on loan for the remainder of the season.
He was joined by winger Lewis Morgan and left-back Calvin Miller through the Parkhead exit, but there were no moves for centre-half Jack Hendry or Hibs-bound Scott Allan.
Mulumbu, 32, has started only two games since joining the Hoops as a free agent in the summer and Brendan Rodgers sanctioned his return to Kilmarnock.
The midfielder originally impressed the Hoops boss last season as he turned in a five-star performance and scored the only goal of the game as Steve Clarke’s side shocked the Parkhead men at Rugby Park.
However, the former Paris Saint-Germain player has failed to continue that form with the Glasgow men and was welcomed back by the Ayrshire outfit to see out the season.
Scotland international Morgan, who joined the champions a year ago in a £300,000 switch from St Mirren, will be reunited with Jack Ross at Sunderland.
CELTIC SLAYER…Youssouf Mulumbu hits the winner for Killie against the Hoops at Rugby Park a year ago. Pic: Geo.
Hibs and Aberdeen were also interested in the tricky forward, but the lure of teaming up again with his former Paisley gaffer swayed the player.
Also heading out on a temporary transfer is Calvin Miller, who joined Championship side, Ayr United. The left-back spent the first half of the campaign on loan at Dundee.
He returned to Parkhead last month and scored two goals for Tommy McIntyre’s reserves last week in their 4-1 win over Partick Thistle.
Rodgers is eager for Miller to get more game-time and okayed the shift to the Somerset Park outfit.
Any chance of central defender Hendry being allowed to leave on loan was scuppered with the injury problems to Dedryck Boyata and Filip Benkovic.
And Hibs’ move yesterday for a permanent deal for midfielder Allan was rejected by the Parkhead side. The player has already agreed a pre-contract with the Easter Road team.