Melbourne Victory-bound Mark Milligan will meet the board of JEF United in a bid to secure his immediate release from the Japanese outfit.
The Socceroos utility, who featured in last month’s titanic 1-1 draw with Japan, has agreed personal terms with Victory to become coach Ange Postecoglou's final signing ahead of the 2012-2013 A-League season.
But a binding commitment cannot be concluded until JEF, the club Milligan joined in 2010, releases him from the final year of his contract.
Postecoglou has been working behind the scenes to secure Milligan, who shone for the cub during a 10-game loan stint last season, and the 26-year-old is keen to return to Australia where Western Sydney Wanderers was also hunting his signature.
"I have a meeting with the JEF board and have talking to them about a release," Milligan told The World Game.
"They have been letting a few of the foreign players go and have not been particularly happy with my travelling with the national team.
"Melbourne is definitely an option should I get a release but nothing has been finalised yet and it's premature to say I have signed fort them, while it certainly looks like I will be parting ways with JEF by mutual agreement.
"I haven’t decided 100 per cent on my future but a decision will be made very soon.
"Of course Melbourne is a big option for me. I really enjoyed my time there last season and that's definitely a factor in my thinking. If come back it will be sooner rather than later."
Milligan, who resurrected his national team career during his two-month stint at Melbourne, is excited by the latest dawn in a career that has had several twists and turns.
"While living in Japan has been challenging at times, I've really enjoyed my time there and there are a lot of things I will miss," he said.
"But if I come back to the A-League there will be no regrets. I feel the competition is going forward and Melbourne Victory as a club are a big part of that.
"They are one several clubs who have made their intentions quite clear with some big signings. They want to step up again this year and get back to where they want to be.
"Also when you have a coach of the calibre of Ange Postecoglou, it says a lot. You can't fault him at the moment after what he achieved with Brisbane Roar.
"He's a great coach, he understands and relates really well to players and getting him on board is a massive signing for Melbourne."
Former Sydney FC and Newcastle Jets defender Milligan made nine appearances for second-tier JEF since his return to the club in April and more than 50 in total in two seasons.
It's understood he will be used predominately as a centre back by Postecoglou, though he has been performing with assurance in midfield for his country.
Milligan doesn't believe returning home will adversely affect his future Socceroos prospects.
"If I come back it won't be for a holiday," he said.
"I am happy with the way I have progressed over the past 18 months. I have worked very hard to get to stage I'm at – both physically and mentally – and I have many aspirations left in career, which I want to realise.
"I'm still only 26 and feel the future is still ahead of me and if I come home I am sure it won’t be any sort if obstacle to achieving the goals I'm aiming for."
Milligan's agent, Sydney-based Buddy Farah, confirmed that talks are ongoing but that nothing is set in stone yet.
"Until the ink is dry on the contract nothing is certain and media reports saying that it's a done deal harms the chances of getting a final release for Mark," he said.
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