Mariners wait on Celtic bid for Rogic
Options open ... Tom Rogic. Photo: Brendan Esposito
Central Coast Mariners were expecting Scottish Premier League giant Celtic to make a formal bid of about $600,000 for rising soccer star Tom Rogic overnight.
And, contrary to reports, the financially troubled A-League club denied it had received a $700,000 bid from English Premier League strugglers Queens Park Rangers.
Regardless of whether Canberra-product Rogic stayed with the Mariners or left for overseas, his manager Andy Bernal wanted his young star's immediate future sorted out as soon as possible so Rogic could focus on what he does best - playing soccer and scoring spectacular goals.
''We want all this talk of clubs and interest and contracts, whether he goes or whether he stays with the Mariners, I want to sort it out as quickly as possible, one way or another, so that Tom can concentrate on his football,'' Bernal told The Canberra Times.
There has been speculation about the Socceroos playmaker since the January transfer window opened and he's also been linked with EPL sides Reading and Fulham, Serie B club Ascoli, Belgian side Club Brugge, and a couple of Spanish Primera Liga teams.
Rogic is trialling with Celtic at a mid-season camp in Marbella, Spain.
The Scottish powerhouse, considered the front-runner for Rogic's services, wanted the 20-year-old to play in a friendly against Romania's Steaua Bucharest on Tuesday, but he was yet to receive permission to do so from the Mariners.
The team also wanted him to travel to Glasgow to view their facilities before returning to Australia.
With no deal done, the A-League ladder leaders were still expecting Rogic in Gosford for Saturday night's clash against the Newcastle Jets at Bluetongue Stadium.
A Mariners spokesperson said they were yet to receive any formal offers for Rogic, but were expecting Celtic to do so on Monday night.
With Rogic's Central Coast contract expiring at the end of the season, it's a case of conflicting priorities for the cash-strapped club.
On one hand, Rogic's prodigious talents were a major part of Mariners coach Graham Arnold's plans to win the A-League title.
But the club needs to cash in on Rogic's sale now otherwise he can leave for free at the end of the season.
''At this stage the club's deciding about whether Tom should go to Glasgow or not, given that he's available for selection again for Saturday's match against the Newcastle Jets [following a three-game ban],'' the spokesperson said.
''At this point in time interest has been received from QPR and verbal interest from Fulham Football Club as well, however the club is waiting for transfer amounts to be confirmed. No bids have been received.''
It's been a stellar rise for Rogic after he won a spot with the Nike Academy in England.
Reading wanted to sign him a year ago, but couldn't get him a work permit and he returned to Australia to join the Mariners.
In November, Rogic debuted for the Socceroos against South Korea. Now he's on the verge of joining one of the most storied clubs in Europe.