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Arnold backs Rogic to stay amid overseas interest

Adrian Warren and Liam Fitzgibbon

Published: January 2 2013 - 3:00AM

Central Coast Mariners coach Graham Arnold is optimistic he can retain outstanding Canberra youngster Tomas Rogic during the January transfer window.

The transfer period shapes as make or break for several A-League clubs facing the prospect of losing top talent overseas.

Rogic is reportedly attracting interest from Italy and England, including English Premier League side Reading, which tried to sign him last year before encountering visa problems.

''The January transfer window is always a nervous time for coaches, and it's no different here especially, when you've got top young kids who are doing what they are doing,'' Arnold said.

''At this moment I'd say it's about 75-25 that he [Rogic] will stay.

''There hasn't been a 100 per cent confirmation of an offer.

''I read where the CEO of Reading, Nick Hammond, has come out and said they were interested, because they've seen Tommy before.

''Tommy has been over there, after he won the Nike Challenge; they are the club that wanted to sign him, so they know what Tommy is about.

''But until something is official he's a Mariners player.''

The Mariners stayed two points clear at the top of the A-League ladder with a hard-fought 1-0 home win over Perth on New Year's Eve, giving them their sixth home victory from as many games.

The Mariners are on 30 points, followed by Adelaide United (28) and Melbourne Victory (23).

Mariners goalkeeper Mat Ryan has also been the subject of speculation about a move overseas.

Arnold is no stranger to losing top talent midway through the season; Matt Simon and Rostyn Griffiths last year were sold to Asian clubs.

Asked about Ryan's future, Arnold said: ''At this stage Matty Ryan is 100 per cent staying because there's nothing concrete, there's no firm offer.

''Until Matty's agent tells us something different Matty is staying.''

The irresistible form of Melbourne Victory maestro Marco Rojas has increased his chances of a mid-season move abroad.

Victory coach Ange Postecoglou hopes Rojas remains for one more season but, with the 21-year-old off contract at season's end, the club may find it hard to knock back a good offer for the exciting winger.

Brisbane's Erik Paartalu, Western Sydney's Aaron Mooy, Newcastle's Craig Goodwin and Melbourne Heart's Aziz Behich are other players with the potential to attract interest from overseas.

Martin O'Neill, the manager of EPL club Sunderland, is apparently keen to snap up Socceroos midfielder Tim Cahill to play during the Major League Soccer off-season in the United States.

Cahill, a former star with EPL club Everton, is on the books at the New York Red Bulls. AAP

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