Denmark-based Australia youth international Mustafa Amini has spurned a staggering $5 million offer to join the money trail to China, opting instead to remain in Europe “because it’s the home of football”.
David Lewis

25 Feb 2016 - 10:57 AM  UPDATED 25 Feb 2016 - 7:41 PM

While fellow Australians have been flocking to the Chinese Super League for the forthcoming season, Amini decided to stay true to his dream of carving a career in Europe, insisting opportunities in Asia can be grasped later in his career.

The Randers midfielder is preparing for the resumption this weekend of the Danish Superliga season after the winter break and said his head was never turned by the three-year deal, despite the vast sums on the table.

Aussie striker Giannou set to join China money trail
Greece-based striker Apostolos Giannou is on the brink of joining the Australian influx to the Chinese Super League by inking a deal before Friday’s transfer window closes.
Lavezzi leaves PSG for Hebei China Fortune
Hebei China Fortune have announced the signing of Ezequiel Lavezzi from Paris Saint-Germain for an undisclosed fee.

“There was an offer from China, and you can see everybody is heading there, from Australians to big name players from all over the world, but I am still young and have time for all that,” the 22 year-old said. 

“My ambition is to play in Europe as long as possible and break through for the Socceroos. To be honest, I wasn’t really temped by the offer because I am loving my time in Europe and still have so much to achieve here.

“In a development sense, I feel it’s going to be much better for my career to stay here and learn and grow as a player because Europe is the home of football.

“Of course it’s great to go to China - collect the money and play against some of the superstars that are signing there.”

"But my main is to continue to play for Randers, get as much game time as I can and hopefully get the nod from Ange Postecoglou with the national team.

“Europe is where football is at - you can’t find the overall quality of talent anywhere else. The big leagues like the Premier League, La Llga, the Bundesliga and Serie A are competitions you dream about as a player."

With Socceroos Trent Sainsbury, James Troisi and Ryan McGowan joining fellow internationals Matthew Spiranovic and Tim Cahill in the CSL, Amini said he can see both sides of the equation.

“Obviously everybody has to make their own decisions - there can be a life changing opportunities to be had and each player has to weigh things up," he said.

“But I am happy where I am. A lot of people are watching the Danish league and there is the chance for me to progress.

“It’s only my first season here and I have a long way to go yet. A lot of people might say 'ok it’s only Denmark'. But it’s a very tough league."

Amini's agent, Sydney-based Buddy Farah, has a long history of brokering deals in China, having taken Mark Milligan to Shanghai Shenhua, as well as plucking players out of Serie A and the Bundesliga over the past decade.

Farah knows only too well the temptations of the money-laiden CSL but he echoed Amini's sentiments.

“In Musti's case it has always been about succeeding in Europe first and the riches will arrive at the right time," Farah said.

“The approach from the Chinese club was meant to sweep us of our feet as it came with a big bang – but the boy has a lot to tick off before he looks in that direction.”

Sixth-placed Randers' season resumes against fourth placed SønderjyskE.  Amini will be sharp after his involvement in a number of friendlies after returning from the Olyroos' failed bid to qualify for Rio 2016.

“I’m just raring to go now - it’s been a long off season,” he said.

“It was disappointing (that we didn't qualify for the Olympics) and we do have to look at ourselves in the mirror as it wasn't good enough, but we were missing seven starting players and that made it tough.”