Home老域名 › Competition tough but equity and marquee status might tempt Cahill home

Competition tough but equity and marquee status might tempt Cahill home

Up for grabs? Socceroo legend Tim Cahill. Photo: Melissa Adams Socceroo superstar veteran Tim Cahill is likely to by pass any  A-League approaches and try to stay in the cash rich Chinese Super League.

Melbourne Victory coach Kevin Muscat said on Wednesday that the 36-year-old international would be an obvious boost to the domestic competition, but that he now had some personal decisions to make.

And it looks, according to Cahill’s agent, Ante Alilovic, that he has already made his mind up and that he wants to continue his love affair with the raidly developing Chinese game.

“He will stay in China. I’m in Asia now and will be with him in two days to discuss potential deals (and) there are a few interested clubs,” Alilovic told AAP.

Getting Cahill to the A-League in the first place would be a massive task. Several clubs were inquiring about him last year but were scared off by the salary they thought he would command to return to his homeland and finish his career in the domestic competition.

Many believe that the best way to do so would be to tempt him back with a marquee position and an equity share in the club he joins.

For Cahill, the main priority is to get into a new club and to start playing again as soon as possible, as the Socceroos, for whom he remains a key player, have two crucial World Cup qualifiers against Tajikistan and Jordan in the next six weeks.

He could not play for any A-League teams this season anyway, as the Australian competition is outside its transfer window, and Melbourne Victory and Sydney FC have both already announced their Asian Champions League squads.

Still, until he does ink a deal somewhere romantics will always hope that Australia’s greatest Socceroo could finish his career where it all started as a junior.

If he does come on the market at some point a club like Melbourne Victory would see Cahill as an attractive marketing proposition, as could Sydney FC and Melbourne City.

There is no doubt that should Cahill ever return he would provide the domestic game with a massive boost. When a third Sydney franchise was being floated last year – with the possible demise of Wellington Phoenix – Cahill’s name was mentioned as an anchor for any new club. His status within the domestic game is now so high that having him on board would, at least in the short term, give any side a massive fillip with sponsors, media and supporters.

If Cahill does not tie up a deal in Asia the speculation suggests that he might go to the Middle East. But A-League clubs should at least be putting out the feelers to bring Australia’s greatest Socceroo back to his home country for one last fling, if not this season then next.

Still, he would have to deliver on the pitch. Harry Kewell, another enormous name when he returned to play for Melbourne Victory, generated enormous headlines and great mainstream interest at first but the hype did not match the performance and he quit Victory after a season.

Cahill, however, is a different beast to Kewell, who was so often injured. Cahill is rarely out of action, fanatical about his fitness and committed to staying in Ange Postecoglou’s plans for the next World Cup.

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