World Cup-bound defender Matthew Spiranovic has dropped the biggest hint yet that he will likely re-sign with Western Sydney Wanderers after steering the A-League club to the final eight of the AFC Champions League on Wednesday night.
The giant centre back is off contract with the A-League runners-up but said he was likely to remain at Parramatta next season and could sign a new deal with the club within a week. His announcement came as somewhat of a surprise as the 25-year-old free agent could potentially be lured back to Europe by a number of clubs should he impress on the world’s biggest stage with the Socceroos in Brazil next month. The 2014 World Cup is the greatest window-front of football but Spiranovic says he’s had positive discussions with the Wanderers’ management over a contract renewal and could be enticed to sign before departing for South America.
Before returning to Australia at the start of the season, Spiranovic previously played in the Bundesliga with FC Nurnberg, with Japanese giants Urawa Red Diamonds and had a season in Qatar with Al-Arabi and has made no secret of his desire to return to Europe in the future. It seems he may delay that goal for another season as he told media immediately after the Wanderers’ 2-0 win over Sanfrecce Hiroshima that his future with the Wanderers could potentially be secured within a matter of days.
“I think I’ll make a decision in the next few days if not weeks. I think now that the games are done, we’ll have a few talks and decide what the next step is. There’s a good chance [I will stay here] but we’ll see in the next day or two,” Spiranovic said. “I’ve always said that I’m not in any rush but if the right opportunity comes up for me, the right fit, obviously I’ve really enjoyed this season, if we can make both parties happy then obviously I’d love to stay on.”
Spiranovic rediscovered his form and fitness under the guidance of Tony Popovic in a season capped off with a thrilling Champions League round of 16 victory over the two-time champions of Japan, Hiroshima. He was struggling to contain his excitement following the match and hailed the spirit of the squad along with a tactical tweak as decisive factors in their win.
“The boys are over the moon, we couldn’t have ended it on a better note really, I’m lost for words to be honest,” Spiranovic said. “We changed to a 3-5-2 and we keep the pressure on. We had a few chances even before we scored and I think we deserved it in the end.”
The central defender will join the Socceroos training camp in Gosford on Sunday to stake his claim for a place in the final 23-man squad for Brazil and said he was confident of assuming a leadership role in a more youthful and inexperienced backline.
“I feel like I’ve been part of the set-up for quite a while now. I’ve been there since I was 18 and I’ve been involved in a lot of camps, tournaments. I feel like I’m comfortable if I need to take that role but we have a lot of leaders in that squad and I think it’s a great opportunity for us to step up and show what we’re made of.”
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