The Tomi Juric camp has some bad news for fans of Javanese club Persib Bandung - the Socceroos striker isn’t likely to be playing in Indonesia’s Liga 1 any time soon.
Rumours of the 27-year-old’s apparent willingness to switch from Swiss outfit Luzern to the football crazed Asian nation created a wave of expectation over the weekend.
But the forward’s father and advisor, Branko Juric, has moved to dampen down the ardour of hyped-up fans, insisting his son’s likely future lies in Europe with his contract in Switzerland ending in May.
Shedding light on how the quirky Indonesia link emerged, an amused Juric senior told The World Game: “I received a call from a Spanish agent a few days ago who has connections in Indonesia asking about Tomi, and whether he would be interested in playing there.
“The next thing I know there’s a story published that he’s joining this club (Persib Bandung) which I’ve never heard of.
“When I spoke to the agent, he never mentioned any club or anything specific at all.
“Tomi really knows nothing about this. It’s a mystery (how it’s gained such traction).
“Tomi is looking to continue his career in Europe, that’s his priority moving forward.”
Though almost certain to depart Luzern at season’s end, the off-contract Juric is still struggling to shrug off a toe injury, whilst new coach Thomas Häberli seeks to integrate him into the line up.
He made the last of his six appearances in an injury-hit season back on February 10, with Branko Juric acknowledging that existing interest from a number of clubs in Europe would not fully crystallize until he is playing again.
“Tomi is not 100 per cent yet but is hoping to be back in the first team squad soon,” he added.
“As soon as he’s ready he’ll be there for the coach and the team, and after that he can sort his future out.
“There are a couple of offers there for him but he needs to be back playing first.”
It’s been a forgettable season for Juric, who featured fleetingly at the FIFA World Cup after suffering a knee problem and was then omitted from Australia’s AFC Asian Cup squad back in January due to lack of match minutes.
He is determined to fight his way back into Graham Arnold’s green and gold calculations, sooner rather than later.
“His big priority is to ultimately get back to playing for Australia again,” added Juric senior.
“Things happen in football, and he missed out on the Asian Cup. He was carrying injuries and hadn’t played much club football. The coach made that call and Tomi was okay with that.
“He wasn’t included but he’s as committed as ever to returning to the national team.”