Michael Burgess

Michael Burgess is the football and rugby league writer for the Herald on Sunday.

Soccer: Rojas weighs German offer

Timing is all important as Team Rojas consider Marco's future.

Marco Rojas. Photo / Getty Images
Marco Rojas. Photo / Getty Images

Marco Rojas has attracted significant interest from high profile European clubs - and a concrete offer from a Bundesliga club.

Liverpool and Juventus may have the highest profiles of the clubs looking at the talented youngster but the dynamic All Whites winger has also been tracked by a number of German sides this season - including Werder Bremen, Nuremberg and Wolfsburg. The Herald on Sunday understands his representatives have been presented with a four-year contract from a fourth Bundesliga club.

The deal would apply at the end of the current A-League season, allowing Rojas to leave on a free transfer (although Melbourne Victory would receive compensation).

Under the terms of the proposed offer, the 21-year-old would be loaned back to the Victory for a season to continue his development in the A-League before joining the German club for the 2014-15 European season.

Rojas is no stranger to the German scene, having toured there as a teenager with a Wyners Academy team which played against the under-19 sides from Hannover 96, Borussia Monchengladbach and Bremen.

He has stayed on the radar of several clubs, with Socceroos coach Holger Osieck (the German who was Franz Beckenbauer's assistant during the triumphant 1990 World Cup campaign) apparently fielding calls this year from his homeland clubs inquiring about the progress of Rojas.

Whatever unfolds over the next few weeks, it is an interesting (but positive) dilemma for Rojas and his management team. It has been a long-held ambition for Rojas to play in Europe and take the next step in professional football but timing will be everything. He has flourished this year at the Victory, under the astute guidance of new coach Ange Postecoglou, and has developed immensely in his free-roving role just behind the strikers.

Rojas is a confidence player and is currently chock-full of it. Joining a European club, where he is just another player among 30-40 hardened professionals, always takes a period of adjustment and it must be remembered that he has been a late developer, only becoming a regular in the A-League since January 2011 and in just his second full season.

Perhaps the story of Kosta Barbarouses provides a salutary tale. Like Rojas, Barbarouses flourished under the pass-and-move systems encouraged by Postecoglou (then at the Roar) and was one of the players of the season in their incredible 2010-11 championship-winning season, scoring 12 goals and providing numerous assists as he was named in the A-League's all-star team.

He then made a surprise move to Russian second division club Alania Vladikavkaz, living in the middle of nowhere for the following year and disappearing off the radar.

He has gained valuable experience playing in the Europa League and has since moved to Panathinaikos (on loan) but another season in the A-League may have consolidated his position.

Taking a longer term view for Rojas, it may be worth holding out to see what unfolds in March and November.

If the All Whites qualify for the 2014 World Cup, then Brazil appeals as the ultimate shop window where he will come under the gaze of every big club in the world.

- Herald on Sunday

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