Wonder kid Daniel Arzani’s immediate future lies with Melbourne City, after an automatic one-year contract extension was triggered by his appearance against Adelaide United earlier this month.
Rival A-League clubs, including Sydney FC and Western Sydney Wanderers, have been circling the 19-year-old attacking revelation, not to mention a number of interested parties overseas.
But the 803 minutes accrued over 13 headline-grabbing appearances for City have given the City Football Group the leverage they sought to plot a future which could ultimately lead to a similar career path as their past prodigy Aaron Mooy.
The Socceroos midfielder was sold by Melbourne City to parent club Manchester City and immediately loaned, and then offloaded permanently to Huddersfield Town for a handsome profit.
Arazani has been the talk, and toast of the A-League in a breakthrough second half of the campaign, with Socceroos-coach-in-waiting Graham Arnold leading calls for him to be considered as a World Cup bolter for Russia.
Though locked down for the time being, discussions between City and Arzani’s management over a longer term agreement have yet to morph into a meaningful discourse.
Unlike Mooy, Iran-born Arzani does not possess a European passport, making a switch to the United Kingdom - for example - somewhat problematic, and most likely dependent on Socceroos appearances.
However, other European destinations may be easier to access.
City, meanwhile, are looking to maximize a growth spurt which has seen Arzani emerge as the most gifted and exciting teenage prospect in A-League history.
Arzani’s representatives are hoping City begin to structure a team around him next season, to exploit further the special talent in their midst.
The belief is that his two goals and string of assists to date are but a foretaste of what is to come.
There is also the possibility that should City stall on making a definitive move on strategizing and structuring the path ahead within the CFG, Arzani could leave as a free agent early next year.
Either that, or he could simply be sold, although it’s believed there is no buyout clause in his contract.
For those who fear that Arzani could be poached by Iran, the message from those close to him is that his loyalties lie squarely with Australia.
He missed out on selection by Bert van Marwijk for month’s friendlies against Norway and Colombia.
But the clamor remains strong for him to be a wildcard selection for Russia, where the likes of Socceroos great Stan Lazaridis believe he could be a “game changing” secret weapon off the bench.
There are three regular season rounds remaining, plus the finals, for Arzani to further enhance his already soaring reputation, starting on Sunday in the Hunter against the Newcastle Jets.