The A-League's top ten off-contract player targets

There has been a flurry of recent signing activity in the A-League as clubs move to protect their biggest assets and others try to steal them away.

Off Contract players

(From left) Roy O'Donovan, Jamie Maclaren and Roly Bonevacia are just some of the off-contract stars who could be on the move this off-season. Source: Getty Images

The trend continued on Friday with Brisbane Roar's announcement that it had re-signed defender Luke DeVere. That followed the news on Wednesday that the Roar had lost star attacker Dimi Petratos to Newcastle Jets for next season.

But this is only the start of the action. The player market is going to get a whole lot busier in coming months.

The World Game has come up with a list of the A-League's top 10 off-contract players who could be on the move before next season.

It's a hot line-up.

1. Milos Ninkovic, Sydney FC midfielder

It's hard to think that if Ninkovic remains in the A-League next season it won't be with the Sky Blues, but he isn't tied up yet so anything can still happen. He is arguably the best player in the competition on form this season, so another club could at least try its luck and go all-out for him.

2. James Troisi, Melbourne Victory midfielder

Much of Victory's attack starts with Troisi. The 28 year-old has developed a great understanding with winger Marco Rojas and striker Besart Berisha. Troisi's play is very stylish and he is great with set pieces as well. If the the fringe Socceroos midfielder stays in the A-League it's hard to see him leaving Victory, but, again, money talks all languages.

3. Jamie Maclaren, Brisbane Roar striker

The chances of Maclaren still being at Brisbane next season, after his well-publicised contract wrangle with the club and the fact he was recently dropped to the bench, appear to be next to nil. He is keen to go overseas, but if he stays in the A-League there will be no shortage of suitors.

4. Roy O'Donovan, Central Coast Mariners striker

The prolific Irishman has a good goal-scoring strike-rate despit playing in a struggling Mariners outfit. Central Coast desperately want him to stay, while Newcastle Jets are going in hard for him. Could be deadly in the right set-up.

5. Dylan McGowan, Adelaide United central defender

Last season he was the mainstay in an Adelaide defence that was the best in the competition, starting in all 29 games. It's been much tougher for the Reds this season, but their defence hasn't been nearly as shabby as their attack and again McGowan has been the leader there.

6. Andrew Hoole, Newcastle Jets winger

Another with designs on going overseas to further his career. If he stays in the A-League the Jets will be favoured to get his signature again, but plenty of clubs would like to have him. Has started to score goals from general play, which was a barrier he previously had trouble breaking down.

7. Roly Bonevacia, Wellington Phoenix midfielder

Been a bit inconsistent at times, but no doubting his ability. Has tremendous skill that allows him to confidently take on opponents one-on-one or deliver beautiful passes for teammates. Yet to realise his potential and whether that happens at Wellington or somewhere else remains to be seen.

8. Mitch Nichols, Western Sydney Wanderers midfielder

Has already played at four A-League clubs - Brisbane Roar, Melbourne Victory, Perth Glory and Wanderers - so you wouldn't bet against him making it five at some stage. Won A-League titles with the Roar and has been a key playmaker at the Wanderers since joining the club last season.

9. Sergio Cirio, Adelaide United winger

His contribution to Adelaide's cause over four seasons has been enormous - particularly last season when the Reds won the Premier's Plate and championship double. Adelaide really need to keep a player like him, but there is serious interest in him from elsewhere, including Newcastle Jets.

10. Rhys Williams, Perth Glory defender

Impossible to think he will remain at Perth next season. He had hoped to get a release from his contract to join Sydney FC in the January transfer window, but that didn't happen and he hasn't been used recently by the Glory. Has had his injury problems, but no doubting his class.

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Published 27 January 2017 at 3:19pm, updated 28 April 2022 at 2:38pm
By Greg Prichard