Victory closing in on Milligan with marquee offer

Melbourne Victory are growing increasingly confident of landing their man, as the quest to bring back former captain and Joe Marston medalist Mark Milligan gathers steam.

Mark Milligan

Mark Milligan in action Australia Source: Getty Images

Milligan, who skippered Australia twice at the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup, is looking to resolve his immediate future after being denied a work permit to join Bolton Wanderers by UK authorities.



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As recently as last week, the 31-year-old - a free agent after parting ways with UAE side Baniyas SC at the end of last season - turned down two offers from Saudi Arabia.

And it's believed the Victory, whose coach Kevin Muscat has launched a charm offensive to convince Milligan to consider a second AAMI Park coming, are prepared to offer the utility a marquee contract worth up to $800,000 per season.

Milligan made 74 appearances across three seasons with the Victory, scoring 11 goals, before heading to Abu Dhabi in 2015, when a $1 million offer from Baniyas triggered a release clause.

There is a marquee opening at the club after the exit of Oliver Bozanic to Japan.



Milligan was bitterly disappointed when stringent FA rules on non-EU passport holders shut the door on a move to England, a country he has long wanted to test himself in.

With his dream of playing at the 2018 FIFA World Cup alive and well, Milligan knows that with crucial qualifiers looming against Japan on August 31 and Thailand five days later, finding a new home is becoming a matter of some urgency.

Muscat was one of Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou's assistants in Russia last month, where he had ample opportunity to express the Victory's interest in person.

And while it's been Milligan's preference to remain overseas, there has been a tacit understanding between the two parties that if an A-League return was to become a reality, the Victory would have the first option.


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Published 24 July 2017 at 11:16am
By Dave Lewis