NEW Melbourne Victory captain Mark Milligan insists he was happy to stay in the A-League despite disappointment over his failed move to Crystal Palace.
A last minute bid for the Socceroo by English Premier League club Crystal Palace was rejected by Victory over a reported disagreement over the transfer fee payment structure.
Speaking at his unveiling as captain for the 2013-14 Hyundai A-League season, Milligan said he and his family are happy in Melbourne.
But he admitted he still dreams of one day playing in the prestigious English Premier League.
“Throughout the whole negotiations it was made clear that from a young age I’ve wanted to go to the Premier League and play,” said Milligan.
“We were all very open with each other and at no stage did I want the club to shortchange themselves.
“The final decision was left with Melbourne and the outcome is what the outcome is. I’m very happy here in Melbourne.”
Melbourne Victory coach Ange Postecoglou commended Milligan’s professionalism throughout the saga, which he said was a true reflection of the midfielder’s character and loyalty to the club.
“Mark was an absolute professional throughout and was willing to take the decision whichever way it came,” said Postecoglou.
But Postecoglou conceded he lose Milligan in the near future if top clubs keep persisting.
“It’s something that we’ve factored in to our planning,” said Postecoglou. “It’s not the last time we’ll hear from a Premier League club, that’s for sure.
“If he has the season that I believe he can and takes his game to another level then there is every likelihood that he won't be around longer term.”
“I certainly don’t think that door’s closed. If anything I think he’ll have more options and we’ll deal with that when it comes along again.
“In the meantime while he’s here we want to make sure that we benefit from him being here both on and off the field but more importantly he takes his game to another level.
“I’m hoping him leading our football club will do that.”