AGF lead chase for Arzani as Utrecht exit beckons

Daniel Arzani in action for FC Utrecht Source: Getty Images

Denmark could be the next destination for Daniel Arzani, with Superliga side AGF Aarhus seeking to hand the Socceroos attacker an escape from his Eredivisie purgatory at FC Utrecht.

Already home to fellow Aussies Zach Duncan and Alex Gersbach, AGF’s interim football director Jesper Orskov - a former agent with close ties to Utrecht - is behind the move to bring the 22-year-old to the club which fellow Socceroo Mustafa Amini graced for four years.

Arzani has made just four league appearances since joining mid-table Utrecht on a season-long loan from Manchester City, with coach Rene Hake saying last week “It's clear that he doesn't meet our expectations”.

Struggling to fulfil the proclamations of promise which greeted his breakthrough for Melbourne City and his three FIFA World Cup cameos, Arzani desperately needs game time to recharge his stagnating career.

Melbourne City are also actively exploring the possibility of bringing him back to the A-League while a club in Greece is another courting Arzani.

The identity of the Greek side is unknown, though it’s clear that second-tier Xanthi - fashioned as an outpost for Australian talent - could fit the bill.

However, it appears that AGF - placed third on the ladder with 24 points from 13 games - are the clear favourites should Arzani, Manchester City and his agent Vince Grella conclude a premature release from Utrecht.

AGF Academy chief Orskov declined to comment on the pursuit of Arzani when contacted by The World Game on Tuesday night, saying only: “It’s our club policy not discuss player transfers. I really can’t say anything.”

Orskov has stepped in during the January transfer window to handle AGF acquisitions to fill the void left by longtime football director Peter Christiansen, who has moved on to FC Copenhagen.

Arzani desperately needs minutes to prepare for Australia’s mooted return to FIFA World Cup qualification action in March and the Tokyo Olympic Games after that.

He’s playing catch-up after an injury-wrecked two-year spell at Celtic, and his tribulations in Holland have generated further concerns over the immediate future of a player Socceroos coach Graham Arnold has pinned great faith in.

If a move to AGF goes through, Arzani could make his debut after the resumption from the winter break when David Nielsen’s team travel to Vejle Boldklub on February 4.