DUBAI // Australia defender Mark Milligan said his move to Abu Dhabi club Baniyas is still in limbo, but he is not allowing the suspense to distract from his job with the national team.
Baniyas, according to the Sydney Morning Herald, have made a US$1 million (Dh3.67m) offer for the Melbourne Victory captain, who has appeared in three World Cups for Australia and was a star performer in his club’s 3-0 win over Sydney FC in the A-League grand final last month.
The offer from the Abu Dhabi club, a record for an A-League player, had “activated a release clause” in Milligan’s contract with the Victory, according to the newspaper, and he has looked to earn the biggest paycheque of his career.
The two clubs have still not reached an agreement as Milligan trains with the Australian national team in Abu Dhabi ahead of their 2018 World Cup qualifier in Kyrgyzstan on Tuesday.
“Not a lot has changed in the past few weeks,” said Milligan, who came close to joining English Premier League side Crystal Palace last season.
“The innuendo and speculation is something I’ve been dealing with a lot over the past few years, and this transfer window, in that sense, has been no different.
“These sorts of things have been around in my career for a long time.
“The transfer speculation has obviously come up a few times recently but, actually playing football, or being in camp, is my escape from that.”
Baniyas have also made an audacious bid to sign Brazilian superstar Robinho. Mubarak bin Mahroum, the club chairman, has confirmed they are waiting on both the Milligan and Robinho deals.
“Until this moment, the club have not reached a final agreement or signed a formal contract with any foreign player, including Robinho,” he said.
“Negotiations are still going on and we could resolve the matter within days or it (a possible deal with Robinho) could be delayed until the end of the Copa America, where the player is participating with the Brazil team.”
Al Ahli are also on the lookout for a striker, and media reports in Turkey have linked the Dubai club with a move for former Chelsea striker Demba Ba, who is with Istanbul club Besiktas.
According to the FotoMac website, Ahli have made a €10m (Dh41.4m) offer for the 30-year-old Senegalese striker, who scored 27 goals in 44 appearances for Besiktas last season after arriving from Chelsea on a €6m deal.
Ahli will have to return with an improved offer as Chinese club Shanghai Shenhua, who signed Al Wahda target Tim Cahill in the winter, have also thrown their hat in the ring with a €14m bid, according to the website.
Meanwhile, reports in Brazil claim Arabian Gulf League champions Al Ain have made a bid to sign Corinthians captain Ralf.
The 31-year-old defensive midfielder, who has eight Brazil caps, will be out of a contract later this year and, according to the Lancenet website, Corinthians have no intention of extending his contract.
The Brazilian Serie A club, according to the website, have already accepted Al Ain’s offer and are waiting for the player’s approval, but Ralf’s representatives claim they have not seen the offer.
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