Transfer rumours: Cahill uncertainty, Spiranovic to stay
There are reports linking former Wanderers goalkeeper Ante Covic with the troubled Perth Glory. Covic, who turned 40 this month, is said to be seething at being dumped by Tony Popovic and wants a one-year deal with the Western Australian club – which would benefit both parties as Glory seek a replacement for the now departed Danny Vukovic.
There are further troubles at Brisbane Roar. With staff still unpaid in June, there are rumblings of discontent among the players, with one or two hoping to use the opportunity to make their escape south of the border. Roar are hoping that newly appointed football operations manager, former Brisbane and Socceroos skipper Craig Moore, can pour oil on troubled waters, but he has quite a job on his hands.
In the wake of Corey Gameiro’s move to Melbourne City, it appears that Sydney FC were simply not prepared to meet the financial demands of the Wollongong-born striker, who is coming off his second knee injury in two seasons. Graham Arnold is of the view that the club is responsible for getting Gameiro’s career back on track and was owed a debt of gratitude by the young striker. Some Sydney fans aren’t pleased either and the player may come in for a bit of stick when he returns to Allianz Stadium.
Those Tim Cahill rumours refuse to go away despite the Socceroos legend scoring a trademark header for his club, Shanghai Shenhua, on the weekend. Cahill has been publicly assured by his club it isn't looking to offload him despite his meagre return of two goals from 14 starts – and just one from open play – but nothing is certain until the Chinese Super League transfer window closes on July 16.
Having scored his first international goal for the Philippines, Iain Ramsay has not given up hope of securing another A-League contract but he is also fielding offers from Asia. He has made it clear that he will not be joining a club that seeks to play him at left-back after his poor second-year spell with Melbourne City.
Jamie Maclaren is still locked in a fight with Perth Glory as he seeks to obtain his release. Lawyers are involved and Glory fans are perplexed as to why their club is fighting tooth and nail to keep the want-away striker when coach Kenny Lowe had announced in April that all contracted players would be free to leave if they chose to do so, with Scott Jamieson, Danny Vukovic and Youssouf Hersi taking the opportunity to make their exits. Precedent is on Maclaren’s side and he is expected to force his move despite the club digging its heels in.
Newcastle Jets’ surprise coaching appointment, Scott Miller, isn’t letting grass grow under his feet. With former Victory number two Jean-Paul de Marigny announced and keeper Mark Birighitti completing his loan spell at Varese, the 33-year-old head coach will announce new signings in July, with at least one dumped Jet offered a lifeline.
And the rest…
Tony Popovic will reject big-money overseas offers for Australian marquee Matthew Spiranovic, who has a year to run on his contract, but his hand may be forced in January should the Wanderers not be in semi-final contention…young Heidelberg United striker Kenjok Athiu has not gone unnoticed by A-League clubs...out-of-contract Socceroo Oliver Bozanic is on the lookout for a new European club but is not averse to an A-League return, with two clubs tabling offers...Kerem Bulut is proving a hard sell in Australia due to his chequered past and is being shopped around Europe as he seeks to once again reignite his career.
Joao Pedro Watch
After an outstanding FIFA Under-20 World Cup semi-final display that included forcing a Senegalese own goal after an excellent run and cross, the promising right-back came back to earth with a thud in the final, his non-tracking of Stanisa Mandic costing Brazil the opening goal against Serbia. Brazil went on to lose the match 2-1 in Auckland.
The Palmeiras defender will return to San Paolo to continue his club career, but one would expect him to follow the well-trodden path to Europe of talented young South American footballers.
Why Joao Pedro?
This column and its associates attended the Brazil-Portugal pre-World Cup warm-up at Jubilee Oval last month and one footballer stood head and shoulders above the rest – the young Brazilian right-back. Fast, technically gifted and solidly built, Joao Pedro went on to score a superb long-range goal against Australia in Wollongong three days later. His displays in New Zealand underlined his quality, his concentration error in the final notwithstanding.
Many are of the view that Joao Pedro is cut from the same cloth as some of Brazil’s great modern-day right-backs, such as Jorginho, Cafu, Maicon and Dani Alves. There is no doubt that the young defender will be moving to a European club sooner rather than later and we look forward to tracking his career.
This column can also exclusively reveal that it stands to financially profit from any Joao Pedro transfer in the same way that it does from all other player movements and stands to double the windfall that came its way from the transfer of Cristiano Ronaldo from Manchester United to Real Madrid in 2009.