The Asian Champions League campaign is expected to be Robbie Kruse’s farewell to Melbourne Victory, with the striker set to move to Germany.
German newspaper Bild has said a deal for Kruse’s services is as good as done with a move to Bundesliga II club Fortuna Dusseldorf in the European summer set to be finalised.
Kruse’s manager John Grimaud has strong contacts in Germany and secured a dream deal for another promising Victory youngster, goalkeeper Mitchell Langerak, to current Bundesliga leaders Borussia Dortmund 12 months ago.
Kruse’s contract with the A-League club expires after the Asian Champions League group stages – which begin for Victory on March 1 against Japanese club Gamba Osaka – upon which time the club appear resigned to his departure.
Kruse impressed with 11 goals in 19 matches in the Victory’s recently completed A-League campaign, strengthening his credentials for a European move when given his chance for the Socceroos in January’s Asian Cup.
While Kruse’s departure from Victory appears a fate accomplit, the club will fight hard to try and retain Marvin Angulo after the Costa Rican’s impressive finish to the season.
Angulo’s loan deal runs out in June, with Melbourne needing to have to either convince home club CS Herediano to continue the loan or buy out his contract, as happened with Carlos Hernandez.
At Australia’s other ACL entrant Sydney FC, North Queensland Fury loan striker David Williams is hoping his stint at his new club will put him in the shop window for a ‘dream’ move back overseas.
Williams had his first training session with the Sky Blues on Tuesday since signing a six-month deal with Sydney which takes in the group stage of their ACL campaign, beginning on March 2 against South Korean club Suwon.
While Williams, who is the only player contracted to the Fury for next season as doubts over the their future continue, remains committed to the long-term future of the club. But he admitted he had a strong desire to move to a big overseas club – especially if North Queensland fold.
“For me it’s all up in the air at the moment and I’ve got to weigh it all up,” Williams – who tasted life abroad with Danish club Brondby from 2006 to 2009 – said on Tuesday.
“But hopefully (the ACL) opens some doors for me. It will be a good experience for me and maybe create something I hope.”
Meanwhile, Sydney coach Vitezslav Lavicka will have to finalise his final squad for the ACL later on Tuesday, with one unlucky visa player needing to be left out.
ACL rules only allow each club to have three foreign players and one Asian player in their final 30-man squad’s for the tournament, with out-of-contract Korean defender Sung Hwan Byun already left out after Japanese midfielder Hiro Moriyasu was given the nod for the Asian spot.
Lavicka will have to cut one of Brazilian Bruno Cazarine, Finn Juho Makela, Northern Ireland’s Terry McFlynn and Swiss Stephan Keller, with Wellington defender Andrew Durante signed and Perth’s Jamie Coyne being chased.
In other news at the club, former Socceroo Hayden Foxe has announced his retirement.
Foxe, who had a decorated career in leagues in Japan (Sanfrecce Hiroshima), Holland (Ajax), and England (West Ham, Portsmouth and Leeds), informed his team-mates at training on Monday.