Marquee deals for James Troisi and Tomi Juric? Marc Warren pressing his case in Perth. And what's Matt Simon doing at Sydney FC? Read on...
The cards are falling into place for overseas-based Socceroos as more continue to accept offers from European clubs. With Scott McDonald opting to re-sign with Motherwell and James Holland spurning the advances of Melbourne Victory to join Bundesliga 2 club MSV Duisburg – a club that once had Tiago Calvano on its books – the odds of any Europe-based Socceroos making a return to A-League football are lengthening by the minute.
Meanwhile, an announcement on Tommy Oar’s new club is expected soon, with the winger sifting through a number of lucrative offers from English and continental clubs.
Eredivisie’s Roda JC Kerkrade’s signing of former Perth Glory enforcer Rostyn Griffiths has disappointed Melbourne Victory coach Kevin Muscat, who, it is believed, had approached the midfielder to directly replace departed captain Mark Milligan. It was going to take some creative accounting but one option was to move former international Carl Valeri to marquee status, clearing the way for the ECU Joondalup product to join the champion club.
Staying with Victory and having failed in his pursuit of Holland and Griffiths, Muscat is said to be pulling out all stops to bring midfielder James Troisi back to Melbourne – this time on marquee wages.
After months of soul-searching following his disastrous Grand Final display, Player Of The Year Milos Dimitrijevic has re-signed with Sydney FC, the club that had revived his career in 2014. It is believed that coach Graham Arnold had stayed in touch with Dimitrijevic throughout the midfielder’s hiatus with the family in France and Serbia in recent months and it is this personal contact and support that clinched the deal for the former youth international.
Reports are emerging that Perth Glory have made a massive marquee offer to Tomi Juric following the loss of attacking players Andy Keogh, Mitch Nichols, Daniel De Silva and Jamie Maclaren in recent months. It is rumoured that the striker’s family are pushing for a lucrative deal that will set the striker up for life, which is one of the reasons it has taken a long time for the talented Asian Cup winner to put pen to paper with a club.
Glory are also still chasing local boy Nikita Rukavytsya, who scored 16 A-League goals for Perth between 2007 and 2009 before embarking on his European adventure in which the striker netted just 12 times in over 100 games in Germany, Holland and Belgium.
Still in Perth and former Burnley youth player Aryn Williams, currently plying his trade with NPL club Floreat Athena after failing to secure an A-League contract in 2014, has been asked to show his wares to coach Kenny Lowe as the club continues to rebuild. Williams has been trialling alongside Mariners’ discard Brent Griffiths and former Sydney FC leftback Marc Warren.
Staying with the Western Australian theme and Socceroo goalkeeper Brad Jones is understood to be close to agreeing terms with English Championship club Preston North End - a deal that would allow him to remain close to his family in England’s north east. The club is keen to boost its goalkeeping stocks, with manager Simon Grayson also reportedly tracking former loanee and Manchester United #3 Sam Johnstone, currently on preseason tour with the Red Devils.
Talented 19-year-old winger Taylor Tombides is training the house down at new club Hull City Tigers. Tombides, who tragically lost his brother Dylan to cancer in April 2014, spent time on loan with the club last season before being officially let go by West Ham United in June. Fitness was a problem but all that is behind him as the attacker has shed kilos to get his career back on track with the Hull Under 21s team.
To the boardrooms and FFA find themselves between a rock and a hard place as they attempt to sort the match payments for glamour friendlies conundrum. PFA are pushing for a greater player revenue share of the cash-generating games but FFA are having a hard time deciding whether to include the money in the salary cap.
The dilemma is simple – excluding the payments from the salary cap could encourage clubs to rort the system by sweetening player deals via the glamour friendly loophole while including them can potentially reduce cap room for the A-League season ahead, especially if A-League clubs gain entry into the lucrative International Champions Cup down the track. PFA insistence on 30% player share of all game revenues is proving a headache and feathers are said to be flying.
And the rest:
Olyroo midfielder Ryan Edwards has been trialling with English League 2 club Crawley Town FC but surprisingly received no game time in the club’s preseason friendly against former team Reading FC on Monday night…Socceroo Ollie Bozanic is edging closer to a Bundersliga 2 move…Adam Sarota may not have done enough to convince new coach Erik ten Hag that he has a future at Utrecht FC... with a number of billionaire A-League club owners having left the game in recent seasons, discussions are underway to create pathways for community club ownership…Sydney FC’s Alex Gersbach has gone down with a bout of glandular fever while former Mariners striker Matt Simon has been training with the club, though it is unclear if he is on trial or if Arnold is simply helping out an old protégé.comments