Castro all set to reign again for Glory, says Sage

Spanish wizard Diego Castro is “99.9 per cent certain” to re-sign for Perth Glory after owner Tony Sage held face-to-face talks with the veteran playmaker.

Resolving future of the 35-year-old former La Liga man has been one of new coach Tony Popovic’s priorities as he seeks to fashion a squad in his own image with just 10 players re-signed for next season.

While bringing in at least six fresh faces, nailing down fan favourite Castro for a fourth season appears a fait accompli.

“Castro and I have an excellent relationship and I’ve visited his home in Spain twice now,” said Sage. “The first time was to sign him initially and then to subsequently re-sign him.

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“The only issue is that his family want a full three month break in Spain but it may be that they stay there and he comes out a bit earlier.

“I’m 99.9 per cent sure that he’ll sign on the dotted line and be with us next season.

“Hopefully this time he remains injury free and has yet another huge year for us.”



Though Castro only played 22 games last season as Glory missed out on the play-offs, his enduring impact has not been lost on Sage, who plans to have him available for July 23’s showpiece against FA Cup winners Chelsea at the brand spanking new Optus Stadium.

With 41,000 seats already snapped up, organizers are expecting 50,000 sellout for AFC Champions League and A-League winning coach Popovic’s first game in charge.

“The length of Castro’s next contract will be up to Tony (Popovic) but If you look at the stats and data records for last season, he was third best across the board for passing accuracy etc, and he missed six games,” added Sage.

Sage has had to reach deep into his pockets to capture marquee coach Popovic, not to mention the influx of players he will bring.

“It’s probably cost $1 million more than I was budgeting for but we want to bring success to this club and he was the man I wanted from day one (after Kenny Lowe was dethroned).



“He’s a proven winner and will bring a different mentality to the club and a desperation to win trophies. He’s the right man at the right time.

“He has a lot of players who also want to come to our club and play for him and it’s a chance for him to put his stamp on things.”

Former Western Sydney Wanderers miracle worker Popovic won the ACL in 2014, the premiership in the club's inaugural campaign and qualified for three grand finals - in 2013, 2014 and 2016, losing all three.

Sage is open to bringing in a business partner at Glory but insists he is not prepared to sell his controlling stake in a club he’s already ploughed over $20 million into.

“I’m looking for an appropriate football-focused partner,” he said. “I want us to go into Asia and win trophies and we have a coach with the ruthless attitude to do that.”


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3 min read
Published 24 May 2018 at 6:54pm
By Dave Lewis