The often harsh business side to sports may work in the favour of the A-League if Socceroo captain Lucas Neill is dumped by his club in the United Arab Emirates.
The star defender may be left out in the cold by his club, UAE Pro League team Al Wasl, after they acquired a couple of star players during the January transfer window.
Al Wasl coach, Frenchman Guy Lacombe, managed to acquire Iraq defender Ahmed Ibrahim and Brazilian striker Jose Ferreira in an attempt to lift what has been a disappointing season for the club. The moves may result in Neill becoming jobless- Pro League teams are allowed four imports.
Neill has recently been linked to Chinese Super League club Tianjin Teda and possesses what could be a couple of opportunities in Europe next season, but these remain rumours. The European transfer window closed Thursday night, ending the possibility of landing there this season, however the A-League’s transfer period runs for a further two weeks.
While Neill may opt to return home, the money here may not match his current earnings. Neill makes roughly $800,000 a season with Al Wasl while the Chinese rumours were said to boarder on the $1 Million mark.
The 34-year-old has been named for the Socceroos friendly against Romania next Wednesday, but German coach Holger Osieck prefers his international players playing in Europe or quality Asian competitions.
Neill is one of the exceptions to Osieck’s rule- Matthew Spiranovic and Mark Bresciano, also picked in the squad for the game against Romania, both play in Qatar.
Neill has been playing in the Middle East since 2011. He was let go of by Pro League club Al Jazira after just one season.
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