Rogic set for move to Celtic
Tom Rogic is set to secure his future with Celtic on Wednesday. Photo: Brendan Esposito
Canberra's Tom Rogic is set to become a Celtic player after Central Coast Mariners agreed to terms with the Scottish Premier League champions to sell one of the hottest properties in Australian football.
The Mariners struck a deal with Celtic believed to be worth nearly $700,000 and are expecting the formal offer to arrive by Wednesday morning. Once received, Rogic will be free to negotiate personal terms and sign with the Scottish champions.
The 20-year-old Socceroo impressed Celtic coach Neil Lennon while training with the club for the past week at their camp in Spain. Lennon requested permission to field Rogic in a trial match against Romanian club Steaua Bucharest, and while Rogic was not available, it is understood he will travel to Glasgow to finalise the move.
''He won't be playing against Steaua Bucharest but they've asked him to come back to Glasgow,'' Mariners director of football Lawrie McKinna said.
''They're over the moon and they're happy with how he's been doing, and if it [the transfer offer] comes in, we'll let him go to Glasgow.''
McKinna said the club would be in a clearer position on Wednesday morning. However, Fairfax Media understands that Rogic is happy with how he has been received and welcomed by the Celtic coach and playing staff.
''We're expecting an offer overnight,'' he said.
''[Celtic has] requested that Tom goes to Glasgow on Wednesday with the team for a few days to see the place, see the facilities, and the club's basically told them if we get a letter in writing that we'll allow that.
''If not, he'll be back here on Thursday getting ready for the Jets game [on Saturday].''
But Celtic wasn't the only club the Mariners have had discussions with. They were also expecting an offer overnight from English Premier League club Queens Park Rangers, while fellow Londoner Fulham was also interested.
Wigan has also been linked, while Reading had tabled an offer for the 20-year-old, but Rogic decided against the move.
A couple of Spanish Primera Liga clubs have been watching the former Tuggeranong junior closely during his training sessions with Celtic.
McKinna used to play for Scottish club Kilmarnock and he believed Rogic would be a hit in his country of birth.
It's an opportunity that could see the Mariners' No.10 playing against Italian champion Juventus in the Champions League round of 16 next month.
''I think he's going to be a big hit over there, because he's something different they don't have,'' McKinna said.
''It's a hard-working, grafting league and for him to go there with his silky touch I think he could be a standout and something special.''
Rogic's contract with the Mariners expires in May, which is why the cash-strapped A-League club is looking to sell him during the January transfer window.
If they don't, he can leave the club for free at the end of the season.