May 26, 2015 12:21:27 UK
Champions Melbourne Victory are in danger of losing skipper Mark Milligan, who is being chased by an Arabian Gulf League side.
The midfielder will fly to the United Arab Emirates this week to discuss terms with the unnamed team, who triggered a $1million release clause in his A-League deal.
It’s reported that the club looking to sign the 29-year-old is Abu Dhabi-based Baniyas, who tried to recruit him before last year’s World Cup in Brazil.
Milligan, who was man-of-the-match in Victory’s 3-0 Grand Final win against Sydney FC, has been offered a lucrative two-season deal.
Milligan has told coach Kevin Muscat he is keen to accept the offer, bringing to an end his 83-game spell with the club.
He joined, initially on loan from JEF United Chiba, in 2012 and then signed a three-year deal with Victory. Milligan took over as skipper from Adrian Leijer at the start of the 2013-14 season.
His form with Victory drew a $1.2million offer from Crystal Palace, who are 6.00 to be relegated in 2015-16, but the A-League club rejected it.
The 39-cap Australia international was part of the squad under Ange Postecoglou that won the Asian Cup on home soil earlier this year. He scored his third goal for the Socceroos in a 4-0 win over Oman in Sydney.
Postecoglou named him in his squad on Monday for Australia’s first 2018 World Cup qualifier against Kyrgyzstan in Bishek on 13th June.
Milligan signed up last August as Victory’s Australian marquee until the end of the 2016-17 season, but feels the time is right to move on.
Melbourne Victory are 3.75 to retain the A-League championship.
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