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Nov 11, 2008

Dodd leaves door ajar for J-League move

Adelaide United skipper Travis Dodd has left the door open for a possible move to Japan as cashed-up J-League clubs impressed by the Reds' Asian heroics start circling Australian talent.

A change to the J-League import rules from next season will give all clubs the option to sign one extra import from Asian Football Confederation nations.

That and Adelaide's march to the Asian Champions League final against Japan's Gamba Osaka has reportedly landed Dodd and some of his Adelaide teammates on Japanese club shopping lists.

The Socceroo attacker has been linked with J-League championship chasers Kashima Antlers, whom Dodd played a leading role in eliminating from the ACL.

Dodd said Kashima had not made any contact and any talk of a move was pure speculation.

But he admitted he would consider a move if he believed it was in his family's best interests.

"I guess if it was right for the family, first and foremost," Dodd told AAP.

"I think I'm capable of playing at a higher level. It's just a matter of the opportunity coming, and the club here agreeing to let me go.

"It's a very good league and the money - there's a lot more to be made there than what you could here.

"But in saying that, the lifestyle over there would have to be good for the kids.

"It's not just something I can pick up and say 'yeah, I want to go'. It's something we'd have to discuss as a family."

Dodd has a wife and two children, and is contracted to Adelaide for another two seasons.

However it is believed his Japanese suitors would not baulk at paying a transfer fee to secure him, wowed by his pace and eye for goal when he played against Kashima in the ACL quarter-finals.

Adelaide have also shown they are transfer market pragmatists, having made a combined seven-figure sum from selling star strikers Nathan Burns and Bruce Djite abroad at the end of the last season.

While the Japanese speculation surrounding Dodd is an unexpected and not entirely welcome consequence for Adelaide thanks to their march to the ACL final, it is a problem other A-League clubs are likely to face sooner rather than later.

With a salary cap in place in the A-League, most quality Australian players could earn substantially more by playing in Japan under the new import rule when the 2009 J-League season starts in March.

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