Transfer rumours: A-League targets Wilkshire, Mariners move on Merseyside striker

Former Socceroo Luke Wilkshire is in demand by A-League clubs... Sydney FC are trialling a Manly United forward for their Mature Age Rookie spot... and is a young Everton striker headed to the Central Coast on season-long loan? Read on...

Socceroo coach Ange Postecoglou is believed to be tearing his hair out over the club uncertainty surrounding vital squad members Tommy Oar, Ollie Bozanic and James Troisi.

With the national team about to embark on three World Cup qualifiers in the space of a month, Postecoglou needed all his squad members fit and in form. Instead the trio, who have come very close to completing transfers in recent weeks, remain uncontracted.

Neither Bozanic nor Troisi were named in the Socceroos squad for the September qualifiers against Bangladesh and Tajikistan.

A Spanish deal is believed to have gone awry for Oar, Troisi was set to sign for a club in Holland but FFA’s recent change in salary cap rules opened new possibilities for the Asian Cup Final hero, while Bozanic has a number of offers on the table but not one is absolutely perfect for the former Mariner. 

Meanwhile, Chris Herd is still no closer to finding a new club. Spurning Aston Villa’s offer of a short-term preseason training deal, that would have allowed the defender to regain fitness and stand a chance of impressing coach Tim Sherwood, Herd had elected to train on his own in order to keep his club options open.

While the Socceroo has, to date, been unwilling to relaunch his career in Australia, finding another EPL suitor has been a struggle, with clubs reluctant to gamble on a talented but injury-prone footballer who has also had off-field issues. The Championship or SPL appear Herd’s best options but a club with the right package has so far proved elusive.

Player unrest continues to mount at beleaguered Brisbane Roar behind the scenes, with a number of players set to file grievances. It is an open secret that a few Roar players have been looking for a way out of the club in recent weeks, as reported here on previous occasions, and rival A-League clubs are circling.

The Central Coast Mariners could be about to receive a timely boost courtesy of their partnership with Everton FC. At least one Toffees player is set to embark on a season-long loan with the Gosford club, rumoured to be athletic striker Connor McAleny, 23. It is understood that coach Tony Walmsley’s inquiry about Everton’s 19-year-old Australian right-back Gethin Jones was met with a polite but firm “no thank you”.

Socceroo skipper Mile Jedinak will not be handing in a transfer at Crystal Palace, opting instead to stay and fight for his place at the club where he remains captain, despite his lack of game time in recent weeks. Palace boss Alan Pardew does not appear to be a fan of the tough Australian but with over 40 games left to play this season would be reluctant to let Jedinak go. Regardless, the Socceroo feels a debt of loyalty to the Eagles and will aim to do all he can to help the Selhurst Park club avoid relegation once again.

Sydney FC’s alleged salary cap difficulties following the departure to PAOK of Terry Antonis are not a major concern for the club. It appears the club has a sufficient number of “Loyalty” and “Home Grown” players who can be moved outside the cap under the new laws, clearing cap space for an incoming replacement. Coach Graham Arnold is definitely in the market for one and possibly two midfielders to add to the squad, though may decide to hold off until the January transfer window if the right player isn’t available at this stage.

Adam Sarota appears on the outer at Eredivisie club FC Utrecht and could be set for a loan spell in the Dutch Eerste Divisie (Division 2) or in Belgium. The player himself wants to remain part of the Utrecht squad as he looks to return to his best form of three years ago following a career-threatening knee injury.

FC Feyernoord’s release of former Socceroo right back Luke Wilkshire has sparked a frenzy of A-League activity. The player has been publicly linked with the Western Sydney Wanderers and champions Melbourne Victory but it is rumoured that most A-League clubs have made inquiries. Wilkshire is understood to favour a return to his original position in central midfield should he return to Australia.

And the Rest:

A cashed-up club has made enquiries about the services of striker Besart Berisha…Should Hakoah Sydney City East FC gain promotion to the NSW NPL1 this weekend, Socceroo legend Lucas Neill could be lining up for the club next season… Sydney FC are trialling 22-year-old Manly United forward Brendan Cholakian to fill their Mature Age Rookie spot… Tomislav Mrcela is wanted by Belgian and Turkish clubs… Fabio Ferreira has been training the house down in Gosford as he looks to take a leadership role at CCM… Shane Lowry is wanted by an A-League club but will most likely remain in England.  

Joao Pedro Watch

Serious haggling is taking place behind the scenes in what could prove a complicated transfer deal for the talented 18-year-old right-back. Manchester United and Porto are still leading the chase. The player himself has recently returned to training following a thigh muscle strain.