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England try to devise a 'Plan B'

Marcotti's Musings

Transfer window pivotal in AL title race

The January transfer window shapes as make or break for a host of A-League clubs, with several title heavyweights facing the prospect of losing their top talent overseas.

The opening of the transfer period from Tuesday represents a chance for clubs to give their squads a mid-season boost but overseas clubs are also circling some of the league's best players.

Central Coast young guns Tom Rogic and Mat Ryan are being lined up by European clubs while the irresistible form of Melbourne Victory maestro Marco Rojas has increased his chances of a mid-season move abroad.

Exciting Socceroos attacker Rogic is reportedly attracting interest from Italy and England, including Premier League side Reading which tried to sign him last year before visa issues meant the move collapsed.

"I have no doubt he has the potential to play in the Premier League," Reading's director of football Nick Hammond told this week.

Goalkeeper Ryan has also attracted interest from England and Mariners coach Graham Arnold admits his table-topping club may have to sell the players if the price is right.

Arnold is no stranger to losing top talent midway through the season, with Matt Simon and Rostyn Griffiths sold to Asian clubs during the last campaign.

Victory coach Ange Postecoglou hopes Rojas remains in Australia 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 financial 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.

The much-hyped potential arrival of superstar David Beckham looks increasingly unlikely but there should still be a host of new arrivals to the league.

Several clubs have signalled their intention to strengthen, with new Sydney FC coach Frank Farina reportedly keen to bolster his defence having already signed striker Joel Griffiths.

Adelaide, the Roar and the Mariners all have foreign spots available and could look to bring in fresh international talent.

Australian players could also be on the move overseas this month.

Sunderland manager Martin O'Neill is apparently keen to snap up Socceroos midfielder Tim Cahill to play for the Premier League side during the MLS off-season in the United States.

O'Neill wants to add some firepower to his attack during the January transfer window, and the former Everton star, currently on the books of the New York Red Bulls, would provide at least a temporary solution.

Such a move could test Cahill's loyalty to Everton, for whom he scored 68 goals in 278 appearances during eight seasons before moving to the United States.


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