Breakout A-League star Alou Kuol looks bound for the Bundesliga, with the teenage striker set to join Stuttgart in a deal which will net Central Coast Mariners a welcome windfall.
Once home to Socceroos Mitch Langerak and Robbie Kruse, the German giant have beaten off competition from several other clubs from leading European leagues to capture Kuol, who has just 627 senior minutes under his belt.
The exuberant and instinctual 19-year-old could be joined at the Gosford exit door at season’s end by miniature midfielder Joshua Nisbet, who has also attracted strong European interest.
Nisbet, 21, previously trialled with Wolverhampton, Bolton Wanderers and Cardiff City and was once offered a deal by a Spanish club on the proviso he started ingesting growth hormones.
Confirmation of Kuol’s impending departure comes less than two months after he signed a one-year professional deal in Gosford, thus guaranteeing the table-topping Mariners a significant sum for a player valued by the influential website Transfermarkt at $600,000.
Whilst fans will mourn the loss of the club’s leading scorer - seven goals in 15 appearances this season - the perennially cash-strapped Mariners have fastidiously positioned themselves as a stepping stone club eager to do business with powerful and influential predators.
Despite the alternatives, Kuol and his advisors view Germany as the perfect place to varnish his still raw talent.
The kid from Shepparton has done most of his damage off the bench this season, with 11 substitute appearances and just four starts.
True to form, he delivered a 76th minute winner against Adelaide United last night, just 12 minutes after replacing Matt Simon with Nisbet providing the assist.
The smallest player across any Australian sporting code at just 160cm - 5ft 2ins in the old money - Nisbet is seen by suitors as technically adept enough to negate any challenges in the stature department.
The Queenslander - in his fourth season with the Mariners - is valued by Transfermarkt at $300,000, and has conjured three assists from his 13 appearance this season.
Kuol has been earmarked for Stuttgart II, the development side who play in the Regionalliga Südwest, Germany’s fourth tier.
Central Coast were contacted for comment.