Transfer rumours: Bozanic to A-League Oar not?

Speculation is mounting that Danish international Thomas Sorensen will become the next No. 1 at Melbourne City. A Queenslander who shot to prominence as a nine-year-old is currently playing for Altrincham FC, in the English fifth tier. And which South Melbourne player looks set to sign his first fully professional contract with Perth Glory? Read on...

With the European transfer window due to close on September 1, there will be moves for a number of contracted Australians either struggling for game time or unsettled at their current clubs. Brad Smith, Dario Vidosic, Adam Taggart, James Wesolowski, Cameron Burgess, Steven Ugarkovic and Josip Konyit could all be set for moves, either on loan or permanently.

We are in for an interesting week.

Meanwhile, Ange Postecoglou’s decision to omit James Troisi and Oliver Bozanic from the national squad that will take on Bangladesh and Tajikistan next month is said to have put the two players on notice, bringing them closer to finalising their club situation. It is believed that A-League returns are very much on the cards for the two midfielders.

Bozanic is currently in Australia and a deal is imminent while Troisi, still owned by Juventus, is in talks with three A-League clubs but money remains the stumbling block.

It has been a long, drawn out saga of Tomi Juric proportions but this time it appears as if Tommy Oar is finally about to put pen to paper. Linked with a number of European clubs over the European summer, including Athletic Bilbao and Ajax Amsterdam, the deal will see the Australian sign with a European club that will make full use of his prodigious talents following a difficult six months for the winger who had played over 100 matches for FC Utrecht.  

There is strong speculation that 39-year-old Danish goalkeeper Thomas Sorensen is set to join Melbourne City, relegating Tando Velaphi to the status of #2 despite his good performances last season. Sorensen, an EPL and Denmark stalwart, has recently cycled across the USA (not, presumably, in search of a contract) and is expected to be the final piece in the jigsaw for MCFC, which is leaving no stone unturned in its quest for a first ever top 4 finish in its short history.

To accommodate Sorensen, unconfirmed reports state that Argentinian import Jonatan Germano, who has only played 52 matches in 4 seasons with the club, may have his contract terminated.

Tim Cahill’s Qatar move is real and is believed to be taking place in December, following the conclusion of his contract with Chinese club Shanghai Shenhua. It appears Cahill was due to leave for the Middle East to coincide with the start of the Qatar Stars League in September, sealing a move that has reportedly been years in the making, but Shanghai opted to retain the Socceroo following Cahill’s purple patch of form last month.

A last minute change of plans is still possible, however, as Shenhua may decide to cash in on a transfer fee from the unnamed Middle Eastern club.

Olyroo midfielder Josh Brillante is reportedly set to go out on loan to Serie B club Como. Como, promoted last season from Italy’s third tier, are on the lookout for players to strengthen their squad and it is believed that Brillante fits the bill and will receive plenty of game time. The midfielder is currently on loan to Serie A’s Empoli but this may change in coming days.

South Melbourne’s Nick Epifano will soon fulfil a lifelong dream by signing his first fully professional contract, believed to be with Perth Glory. Epifano, whose season included an aborted trial at Dundee United and disciplinary action by South Melbourne following a social media comment that was deemed inappropriate, has had a stellar 12 months and an A-League move is the next logical step for the talented 21-year-old.

Meanwhile, Epifano’s teammate and Afghanistan international, 21-year-old midfielder Iqbal Jawadi, has also attracted A-League attention.

There were celebrations aplenty at Hensley Athletic field on Sunday afternoon as Hakoah Sydney City East confirmed their promotion to the NSW NPL1, taking the place of fellow former NSL powerhouse Marconi Stallions FC, a club now in turmoil following its relegation to NPL2. A number of Hakoah players are set to depart, making way for new signings at the club which has, remarkably, achieved promotion twice in two seasons. Coach Mark Robertson is hoping to bring in two former A-League players in the next month, one of whom is currently trialling with an A-League club.

Udinese’s Joey, Panos Armenakas, has been looking forward to linking with national teammates on an upcoming Argentina tour as coach Tony Vidmar steps up preparation for the October FIFA U17 World Cup in Chile. It is believed that fellow overseas-based midfielder Jake Brimmer (Liverpool) will also receive a call-up, while Xane Zaineddine (Watford) and Gian Mendez (Valencia) could struggle to make the team.

And the rest:

Craig Goodwin will seek a move abroad at the end of the season… continued problems at Brisbane Roar have put Michael Thwaite’s return to Queensland in jeopardy…30-year-old former Gold Coast United and Wellington Phoenix midfielder Alex Smith is now an Australian citizen and is close to agreeing terms with Newcastle Jets...there appears to be little love lost between former Socceroo teammates Ned Zelic and Craig Foster, with Zelic regularly firing barbs at Foster through social media…Queenslander Rhain Davis, who shot to prominence as a 9-year-old when signed by Manchester United in 2008, is now at nearby Altrincham FC Under 18s and is still believed to harbour ambitions of a professional football career…former Melbourne Victory keeper Nathan Coe is currently running a successful café in Port Melbourne while his football future remains unclear.