Transfer rumours: Herd options, Novillo wants stay

As the Socceroos were preparing for their opening World Cup qualifier in Bishkek, a great number of them had put club contract negotiations on hold to focus on their international commitments but now it's time to get busy at the negotiation table. 

News on the playing futures of Jason Davidson, Mark Milligan, James Troisi, Tommy Oar, Ollie Bozanic, Tomi Juric and Nathan Burns will begin to filter through in coming weeks.

Unlucky 26-year-old Socceroo Chris Herd is no certainty to remain with Premier League club Aston Villa, despite being given the chance to be part of their pre-season.

Two A-League clubs are willing to chance the fitness of the young defender and should Tim Sherwood decide to part ways with the West Australian at the end of the English pre-season, Herd may choose to re-launch his career at home rather than accept contract offers from the UK. Many close to him have advised him that a change could do him the world of good.

John van ’t Schip has been given a season to get things right at Mebourne City, with the club’s new and impatient owners expecting nothing less than a top three finish.

There is also great pressure on foreign marquee Robert Koren to deliver next season, with a strong “shape up or ship out” message delivered to the Slovenian.

Still at City and 23-year-old winger Harry Novillo wants to stay and is desperate to sign a new contract after impressing fans as an injury replacement for the now departed Damien Duff.

Safuwan Baharudin’s two goals in Singapore’s 4-0 away win to Cambodia have once again sparked A-League interest. Released by Melbourne City, Baharudin’s display in Phnom Penh underlined his potential value to an Australian club, especially one about to embark on an ACL campaign. 

The South East Asian star missed his national side’s historic 0-0 with Japan in Saitama for family reasons, his leave granted by another Australian connection at the Singapore Lions – German former Perth Glory premiership winning coach Bernd Stange.

And the rest…talented young striker Eli Babalj may choose to return home to give his injury-blighted career a second chance and has been sounded out by an A-League club seeking a central striker…Mark Milligan is said to be flying back to the Middle East to complete negotiations with Abu Dhabi-based Bani Yas following the Kyrgyzstan qualifier.

Western Sydney Wanderers are looking to improve their on-field performance through a medical and physio staff restructure after it was felt that there was not enough support for the recovery of injured players last season.

Miguel Palanca is all but certain to leave Adelaide United and may be replaced by Mate Dugandzic…West Australian keeper Brad Jones, released by Liverpool at the close of season, will spurn A-League offers to continue his career in England.

Joao Pedro Watch – Brazil failed to score in their Round of 16 and Quarter Final matches in the FIFA Under 20 World Cup in New Zealand but won two penalty shoot outs to book a Semi Final date with Senegal. Joao Pedro was part of a fine rear guard action that kept a rampant Portugal at bay in the Quarter Final.