A-League and Australian transfer news and rumours: Socceroo Mitch Duke secures club exit

It’s off-season for the A-League and many competitions in Europe, but transfer news surrounding Australian talent – both domestic and overseas – never stops.

Sporting News rounds up all the transfer tidbits and rumours surrounding Australia’s domestic competition and national team players.

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July 25 – Socceroo Mitch Duke secure club exit

Saudi Arabian club Al-Taawoun have agreed to release Australian attacker Mitch Duke from his two-year contract. 

Duke joined the side in August last year but was used sparingly as the club brought in a number of managers and agreed to loan him back to Western Sydney Wanderers. 

The 30-year-old is currently playing at the Tokyo Olympics as the Olyroos only over-age player and impressed in Australia’s 2-0 opening win over Argentina

Duke, whose family are currently based in the UK, has previously played club football in Japan for Shimizu S-Pulse and will be hoping to secure a new club once the Games conclude.

Sydney FC set to stand by current squad 

Sydney FC manager Steve Corica has hinted the club are unlikely to make many more signings this off-season as he declared his side remain the “envy” of the A-League. 

“We tinkered with the squad but like the best clubs in this world we’ll make gradual changes,” Corica told NCA Newswire. 

“I look at our current starting eleven and it’s the envy of the country.

“We’ve got a squad of winners with more than 50 A-League championship medals between them and the current depth is the best in years.”

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July 23 – Ange Postecoglou remains keen on Celtic signing Aaron Mooy

Socceroos midfielder Aaron Mooy remains a transfer target for Celtic as the club looks to step up their recruitment under Ange Postecoglou. 

The Hoops’ reported interest in Mooy had gone quiet in recent weeks but the Daily Record claims Postecoglou still wants to bring in the Australian midfielder. 

Mooy became a Socceroos regular under Postecoglou and is currently contracted to Chinese club Shanghai Port. 

Though Mooy is wanted by the Celtic boss, he has prioritised signing a new right-back with Sheffield United’s George Baldock his top target for the position. 

Wilfried Bony confirms A-League offers as he considers Australia move

Wilfried Bony has confirmed he is in discussions about a possible move to Australia as he looks to restart his playing career. 

The 32-year-old last played in Saudi Arabia for Al-Ittihad but has been without a club since his exit in November 2020. 

Bony is best known for his stunning debut season with Swansea City where he scored 16 Premier League goals across the 2013-14 campaign. 

The Ivory Coast international would subsequently earn a move to Manchester City in 2015 but form and injury ultimately stalled his career significantly in the years that followed.

Currently keeping fit by training with League Two club Newport County, Bony is desperate to find his next club soon and confirmed Australia is on his radar with A-League clubs seemingly circling. 

Read the full story here on Sporting News!

July 21 – Perth Glory owner reveals Robbie Fowler preference

Liverpool legend and former Brisbane Roar coach Robbie Fowler was previously wanted at Perth Glory.

Club owner Tony Sage has revealed to The West Australian  that he wanted Fowler and not Tony Popovic to replace former coach Kenny Lowe in 2018. 

Sage’s comments come after a photo shared on social media saw Sage claim some Perth players hated working under Popovic. 

The former Glory coach has recently taken charge of Melbourne Victory after a short stint in Greece with Xanthi and looks set to soon reunite with former Perth player Chris Ikonomidis. 

July 20 – Melbourne Victory confirm signing of Matthew Spiranovic

Melbourne Victory have announced the signing of free agent centre-back Matthew Spiranovic, as first reported exclusively by Sporting News on Monday evening .

The 33-year-old – who hasn’t played football since leaving Perth Glory in 2019 – has signed a one-year deal with the A-League giants.

“I am looking forward to playing the game I love again at Melbourne Victory,” Spiranovic said.

“The club played a significant role in my development when I was starting out as a teenager and under the direction of Tony Popovic this will be a new chapter for the club.

“The combination of returning to the club where it began and playing under the boss was too great an opportunity to miss.  I am looking forward to contributing to the growth, success and leadership of the team.”

Spiranovic played in Victory’s first ever match in 2005, but never signed an official deal with the club before heading to the Bundesliga with FC Nurnberg.

He also played under Popovic at the Wanderers between 2013-15 and the Glory in 2018-19.

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July 19 – Melbourne Victory offer Chris Ikonomidis mammoth deal to trump Western Sydney Wanderers

Melbourne Victory have offered $1.2 million for Socceroos star Chris Ikonomidis in a deal that trumps Western Sydney Wanderers’ bid, according to Perth Glory owner Tony Sage.

The 26-year-old is currently a free agent since his three-year deal expired with the Glory at the end of the recent A-League season, however he won’t be returning to Perth, with Glory CEO Tony Pignata and Sage both confirming the winger’s departure.

Reports on Sunday suggested the Wanderers were close to confirming the signing of Ikonomidis, who played at the club during the 2017-18 A-League, but in a message posted to a Glory fan on social media, Sage said Victory had offered $200,000 more to Ikonomidis than the million-dollar contract put in front of him by Western Sydney.

The length of deals offerred to Ikonomidis is currently unknown, with reports ranging from one to three seasons.

Ikonomidis is yet to make a decision on whether joins Victory or the Wanderers but it’s expected his new club will be revealed in the coming days.

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July 18 – Awer Mabil to be sold by Midtjylland with AGF circling

Socceroos attacker Awer Mabil will be sold by Danish club FC Midtjylland over the coming weeks, reports Ekstra Bladet

Mabil was granted extended leave over the summer to return to Australia but is expected to return to Denmark soon where a transfer is being lined up for him. 

According to AGF Rygter , the Australian has attracted a bid of around AU$1.75 million from AGF, who are no strangers to recruiting players from Down Under. 

David Nielsen’s side took in Daniel Arzani on loan last season, while Alex Gersbach and Zach Duncan are both permanent members of AGF’s current squad. 

Mabil fell down the pecking order at Midtjylland over the past year where he was used most as a substitute last season and scored just three goals. 

Western Sydney lining up million-dollar deal for Socceroo

Western Sydney Wanderers are reportedly poised to sign Australian attacker Chris Ikonomidis as part of a massive million-dollar deal. 

Ikonomidis is off contract at Perth Glory, who wanted to re-sign the 26-year-old, and has also attracted interest from Melbourne Victory.

The Wanderers have seemingly won the race to sign the 14-time Socceroo however and will flex their financial muscle to ensure Ikonomidis dons the red and black next season.

Read the full story here on Sporting News! 

Besart Berisha a free agent after Western United departure

The A-League’s all-time top scorer Besart Berisha is now a free agent after being released by Western United. 

Berisha has spent the past two seasons with Western United and is reportedly eager to play on at the age of 35. 

July 16 – Wanderers chasing Terry Antonis and Chris Ikonomidis

Western Sydney Wanderers could be about to ramp up their recruitment significantly with two Australian stars in their sights.

According to journalist Val Migliaccio , the club are looking to sign both Chris Ikonomidis and Terry Antonis. 

The duo have both previously lined up in red and black with Ikonomidis playing for Perth Glory last season and Antonis currently contracted to South Korean side Suwon Bluewings. 

Western Sydney have seen several players depart this off-season  with Bruce Kamau sealing a move to Greece and Socceroo Mitch Duke not expected to return after his loan stint. 

Sydney FC announce James Donachie signing with Simpsons video

Australian defender James Donachie was confirmed as a new Sydney FC player on Friday after being released by Newcastle Jets. 

The 28-year-old was most recently playing in India for FC Goa and has also previously lined up in the A-League for Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory.

The Sky Blues turned to iconic TV show The Simpsons to announce Donachie’s arrival in unique fashion. 

July 15 – John Aloisi named new Western United coach

Western United have turn to former Socceroo John Aloisi as their coach for the next two seasons after parting ways with Mark Rudan at the end of last season. 

“We are thrilled with this appointment and we’re looking forward to John’s arrival at Western United,” Western United chairman Jason Sourasis said.

“Throughout the recruitment process, John stood out as someone who reflects the values of Western United. His desire to be successful and to create a high performing sporting environment was impressive.

“This appointment complements our goal of achieving sustainable success.”

Aloisi has previously coached at Melbourne Heart and Brisbane Roar with the Aussie’s last managerial job dating back to 2018. 

Melbourne Victory make consecutive signings

After confirming the signing of defender Jason Geria on Wednesday, Melbourne Victory have further bolstered with the recruitment of midfielder Josh Brillante

Brillante was most recently playing in Greece for Xanthi and has previously lined up for Melbourne City and Sydney FC in the A-League. 

“The opportunity to contribute in the short term but also to the long-term success of Melbourne Victory is a great opportunity,” Brillante said.

“I have worked with the boss before and I know the experience and expertise he and his team bring to the club as well as his coaching approach.

“I believe there is a real opportunity to be a part of something great and to drive the next wave of success at Melbourne Victory. This is an opportunity I want to be a part of.”

July 14 – Nikita Rukavytsya linked with Victory, Wanderers and Glory

Socceroos striker Nikita Rukavytsya is being hunted by Melbourne Victory, Western Sydney Wanderers and Perth Glory, according to reports from Israel.

The 34-year-old is a free agent after leaving Israel’s Maccabi Haifa, with Israeli outlet One   reporting the forward is subject to attention from the three A-League clubs.

The publication also stated Maccabi Tel Aviv were in the running for Rukavytsya’s services.

In a message reposted on Rukavytsya’s Instagram  story, a friend wrote a goodbye message to the attacker featuring the words, ‘good luck in Australia’.

Rukavytsya has won consecutive golden boots in Israel’s top division – scoring 41 goals in 64 games.

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