Australia midfielder James Holland is delaying extending his deal at Austria Wien with a view to joining a Bundesliga club at the end of the season.
Holland, who is in the Socceroos squad to play Romania on Thursday (AEDT), wants to join his compatriots Robbie Kruse, Nikita Rukavytsya and Mitch Langerak in the German top flight.
Just over a year into his 18-month deal with the Austrian club, Holland has featured prominently as his side has opened up a seven-point break at the top of the table.“The coach has approached me on that and I have decided to keep my options open at this stage," said Holland, who endured a frustrating stint in the Eredivisie at AZ, before moving to Austria.
“It’s great being at a club where the coach believes in you after not featuring for Alkmaar and that’s been the key for me, playing games, doing well and making progress," he said.
I've got myself playing regularly at a good level. I’d love to be able to test myself in the Bundesliga. There have been rumours of interest lately but nothing concrete.
“However it’s been in my mind for a while that I would embrace the chance to play in Germany if it comes along.
“I certainly don’t see Austria as my final destination of my career, much as I have improved here. You always want to aim high and that’s what I am doing.”
Holland acknowledged there is an element of risk involed in a move to a stronger league, hinting that he can’t afford to wind up warming the bench, with the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil looming.
“Whatever happens it’s vital for me that I keep that momentum I’ve managed to build up over the past year or so,” Holland said.
“The English Premier League is also a place I would like to experience at some stage of my career, if that is possible. But right now, my focus is helping us win the title in Austria and taking if from there. I just see the Bundesliga as the next logical step.”
On the midweek clash against the 33rd-ranked Romanians, Holland said: “They are a country on the rise again and it will be an interesting test for us.
“But we have a pretty strong squad and I think you’ll see us put in a decent performance.
"It’s all part of building for the four World Cup qualifiers this year and making sure we’re as prepared as we can be.
“If I get the chance again to start then I hope to grab it.”
A holding midfielder for his club, Holland has been used in a more attacking role by Socceroos coach Holger Osieck at international level.
“That seems to be the way Holger Osieck has used me and it suits my game," Holland said.
“But we’ll just have to wait and see what he has in mind for the Romania game and whether I get another opportunity in the team.
“I am just one of a few of the younger boys pushing hard to win regular places in the squad. We all want to give the boss some selection headaches.”
In a twist of fate, the player who benefited most from Australia's second-half collapse against Ecuador wasn't even on the field.