Phoenix admit Thompson is a target

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June 05, 2015 10:40:37 UK

Melbourne have yet to offer Archie Thompson a new contract.

Wellington Phoenix coach Ernie Merrick says he’s interested in signing A-League record goalscorer Archie Thompson from Melbourne Victory.

But he admits he would be surprised if the champions don’t sign the veteran striker to a new deal.

Merrick is on the hunt for a new marksman to help take the club forward next season, though it’s not certain that Nathan Burns will be leaving.

Australia international Burns scored 13 goals in 25 games for the Phoenix last term, setting a new A-League record on the way by becoming the fastest player to reach the 10-goal mark in a season.

He won the Johnny Warren Medal as the league’s player of the year, and earned a recall to the Socceroos for the Asian Cup.

Merrick said no offer had been received for the striker, but he expected there would be bids made from clubs in Asian and the Middle East.

Thompson is off-contract, and the 36-year-old has already indicated he believes he has played his last game for Victory.

I’d say there would be three or four clubs that would want to speak to him and we’d be one of them.

Ernie Merrick

But Merrick said: “He’s a legend there and the supporters all love him and the club want him stay, so I think they’ll make an offer to keep him there.”

Merrick coached Thompson for six seasons while he was in charge of Victory, with the pair winning two championships and two premierships together.

The Phoenix coach, whose side are 11.00 to win the Grand Final, said he felt it would be hard for Thompson to resist re-signing with Kevin Muscat’s side.

But he added: “Should he not sign with the Victory, I’d say there would be three or four clubs that would want to speak to him and we’d be one of them.

“But I can’t guarantee anything and I wouldn’t want to build up the hopes of our fans.”

Meanwhile, Australia are 51.00 to win the Women’s World Cup.

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