10 key factors affecting Aaron Mooy's future

Aaron Mooy is considered likely to leave Melbourne City at the end of the A-League season to join a European club, but there are a number of key factors that will come into play before any decision is made.

Aaron Mooy

Source: Getty Images

The World Game has tried to separate the facts from fantasy regarding the future of the player, who has not only taken the A-League by storm this season, but also become arguably the most important player in the Australia line-up.

1. Contract status

Mooy is contracted to City for another two seasons after this one, so if he wanted to leave to grab an opportunity overseas and the club didn't want to let him go, they could conceivably play hardball with him.

City knocked back a $2 million offer from Saudi Arabian club Al-Nassr in the January transfer window, but that was no surprise. It was mid-season and Mooy is critical to City's chances of A-League honours.

Plus, City are in a unique position among Australian clubs. They are controlled by the rich City Football Group, which means that while they wouldn't scoff at such a big offer, they wouldn't feel compelled to dive straight in and accept it either.

2. Goodwill

Mooy would have a very good and close relationship with the City management. He is a tremendous competitor, a great example to younger players and no trouble at all.

If an offer came up that he wanted to accept, the club would presumably be open to considering letting him go if it was a chance for him to further his career.

How City finish the season could have a large bearing on Mooy's future.

If they win the A-League championship, the club might be more open to letting him go, as a reward for the huge part he would undoubtedly have to play in the crunch finals games for them to succeed.

3. Socceroos

Mooy obviously doesn't have to go overseas to be a regular starter for the Socceroos. He already is, and that won't change as long as he keeps producing the goods at international level.

4. Personal desire

Playing for the Socceroos is one thing, proving yourself on the European club stage is another, and it is clear from the way Mooy talks that he is determined to find out just how good he is.

Don't forget, Mooy has already been prepared to try his luck overseas once.

He went to Britain and after being on a youth scholarship at Bolton, he switched to St Mirren, with whom he made his Scottish Premier League debut five weeks after his 20th birthday.

Mooy returned to Australia in 2012 to become one of the original squad members for Western Sydney Wanderers, but there is no doubt the idea of succeeding in Europe remains very important to him, and he is much better equipped to crack it over there now.

5. Age

Mooy will turn 26 in September - the clock is ticking. He really can't wait much longer to make a European move if he wants to achieve the best opportunity possible for himself.

6. Family

Mooy's partner, Nicola, gave birth to their first child, daughter Skylar, in November.

Obviously, the support network of family members the pair have would be considered very important to them, but on the other hand if he went to Europe now and was successful, he could have four or five seasons there and return to Australia when Skylar was of school age.

7. Money

Mooy is a marquee player at City and as such is very well paid. He is understood to be earning in the seven-figure range this season.

But, as well as he is paid here, indications are that Mooy could expect to earn considerably more playing overseas.

8. Quality of interested clubs

Now we're getting into the serious business of who may want Mooy. There will inevitably be interest in him, but will it come from clubs in lower to mid-range European leagues, or higher?

The bigger the club, the more attractive their interest will appear and the harder it will be for both Mooy to say no and City to try and hold him back.

9. Regular game-time

This is the other side of the coin when it comes to the quality of interested clubs. Any move has got to be to a club where Mooy believes he will be in the frame to play regularly.

Being forced back into a position where he is spending a lot of time on the bench would be an awful move at this stage of his career.

10. The process from here

Expect to read and hear an increasing number of stories about interest in Mooy from European clubs. Club Brugge, in Belgium, has this week been reported as being interested in signing him.

It is always hard to decipher the genuine interest from the speculation, but the bottom line is that City can expect to field multiple offers for him at the end of the A-League season.

If City are prepared to let him go, then it will be up to Mooy to decide whether he is interested in any particular bid.

The good thing about the A-League, in this situation, is that there is such a long off season. The City Football Group obviously have the money and the connections, and would have plenty of time to identify and sign a replacement for Mooy before next season.

He wouldn't be easy to replace, such is his enormous influence on City's on-field fortunes, but if any club are in a position to find the right replacement, it is them.

What Mooy says

Mooy's most recent comments about his future came after he played a starring role in the Socceroos' 5-1 win over Jordan in their FIFA World Cup qualifying match in Sydney on 29 March.

Asked about a timeline for a decision, Mooy replied: "I'll finish off the season as best I can, and the team can, and see what happens after that."

Talking about his aspirations to play in Europe, he said: "Yeah, I've been saying it for probably two years now. I keep saying the same thing, every player should want to push themselves as high as they can and I'm no different."

And, finally, on the question of what would keep him in the A-League, Mooy said: "We'll see. It might be that nothing happens, but I have ambitions to go and that's what drives me."

WATCH: Mooy in action LIVE on SBS Two from 7:25pm (AEDT) as Melbourne City face Adelaide United in the finale of the A-League season.

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6 min read
Published 6 April 2016 at 9:07pm
By Greg Prichard