Australia midfielder Mark Milligan said he wasn’t aware of a lucrative offer being tabled by Premier League club Crystal Palace, before reiterating his desire to play in the English top flight.
The World Game broke the news Palace is preparing a $1 million bid for Milligan as the Melbourne Victory midfielder was competing with the Socceroos in the their 3-2 EAFF East Asian Cup loss to Japan.
After the match, Milligan denied any knowledge of a deal, but stressed his management may well be looking at offers.
“I haven’t heard anything and it tends to be very difficult for me when there’s a game,” Milligan said. “My agency stay well away from me and let me focus on my job here, so I’m unaware of anything at the moment.”
Milligan spoke of the attraction of linking up with his Socceroos team-mate, Mile Jedinak, at Palace.
“There’s no hiding from that it’s been a goal of mine for a long time (to play in the EPL). I have to wait and speak to people. There’s a lot of different circumstances that come into play regardless of the situation.”
Milligan is reported to have turned down a lucrative deal, worth twice as much as the Palace offer, from Abu Dhabi club Baniyas, preferring to stay in the A-League, where he has excelled under Ange Postecoglou at Victory.
When pressed on the circumstances he referred to, he said:
“I’m still a Melbourne player I’m under contract.
“There’s a lot of logisitics for me in terms of wages and it’s a very important year for me leading into a World Cup.
“I need to make sure that wherever I am, I’m playing football.”
Milligan, who was promoted to the Socceroos starting line-up for the 2014 World Cup Qualifying match against Japan in place of injured jedinak, has since kept the Palace captain out of the national team with a number of strong performances.
He acknowledged the inherent risks of moving to a big league.
“It’s a gamble but you always get a feel for things once you get all the information and you‘re able to sit down and look at a whole picture," he said. "I think it’s a lot easier to judge a sit and get a feeling for what’s ahead."
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is confident Jack Wilshere will be 'just polished' in time to boost England's 2014 FIFA World Cup hopes as the midfielder steps up his rehabilitation from injury.