Wednesday, January 9, 2013
Tom Rogic to test water at Celtic
By Guy Hand and Jim Morton
Rising Socceroo Tomas Rogic now looks destined to link with Scottish giants Celtic, who offer the promise of European Champions League football.Rogic has departed the Central Coast Mariners for what the A-League club says is a week-long stint at Celtic's mid-season training camp in Spain.But it is understood that should Rogic impress, he will be signed and a transfer fee paid to the Mariners.He leaves on Thursday at Celtic's invitation, so it would appear Rogic's move is more geared towards transfer than trial.His training stint also finishes in the middle of the European transfer window, so a move could then happen as soon as both clubs agree to a fee.Scotland has been a well-worn path for Australian players, with Socceroos Craig Moore, Tony Vidmar, Mark Viduka and Scott McDonald among those to have had successful spells at the highest level there.Viduka shone for Celtic before moving on to then-English high-flyers Leeds, while McDonald was a goalscoring machine for the Glasgow club.Rogic this week went cold on a transfer to English Premier League strugglers Reading amid concern a relegation battle would not be a good environment for the 20-year-old.Instead Celtic are gearing up for a round of 16 Champions League showdown with Juventus to follow soon after their training camp.Rogic is currently in the middle of a three-match suspension for a dangerous tackle.If the transfer doesn't eventuate, he could return to the Mariners without missing any A-League games for which he is eligible.The Mariners also look set to lose goalkeeper Mat Ryan during the transfer window, with Danish club Randers believed to have tabled an offer - and others expected to follow.Ryan aborted plans for a much-criticised training stint with Scottish lower league club Rangers on Monday - the Mariners blaming it on a shoulder injury.Brisbane Roar midfielder Erik Paartalu could be bound for China by the end of the week, with reported interest from a Chinese Super League team.But Roar coach Mike Mulvey played down talk of Paartalu's possible departure."We just had a club lunch and all the players were there. Erik was in the room so he's still a Brisbane Roar player and he will be until I hear any different," Mulvey said."I've got every confidence in his ability. He's played a really integral part in the club in the past and, right now, he's going to play an integral part in the future."In a busy day of A-League movement, Melbourne Heart's Socceroos fullback Michael Marrone was sold to an unnamed Chinese Super League club for a six-figure sum, with a medical pending.Melbourne Victory released centre-half Petar Franjic, while former Victory midfielder Julius Davies joined Brisbane Roar on a two and a half year deal.His signing follows that of Socceroo Jade North to a multi-year deal late on Tuesday night.Ex-Roar winger Rocky Visconte has linked with Western Sydney Wanderers on a short-term deal after Brisbane released him on Tuesday.