Lustica seeking a return to Brisbane?Posted: January 29, 2014
The Solórzano deal wasn’t the only news of the day today, with Adelaide United releasing a statement through the media in which it alleges that Brisbane have been trying to make an approachfor Steve Lustica. The Reds claim that they’ve reached a verbal agreement with Lustica and his representation on a 1 year contract extension, before demanding an immediate release after being alerted to Brisbane’s interest.
If you haven’t seen it yet, here’s the full statement from Adelaide United.
Adelaide United Football Club would like to advise that Steven Lustica has indicated to the Club that he would like to leave Adelaide United to join the Brisbane Roar.
Originally playing in Croatia for HNK Hajduk Split, Steven agreed to join Adelaide United for the current season. Recently, he was offered an extension to his current contract. At the conclusion of these negotiations by way of email from his agent and a verbal commitment from Steven he had agreed to extend his contract with Adelaide United for the 2014/15 Hyundai A-League season. That was followed by an approach from Brisbane Roar and his position has since changed and he has now indicated that he would like to immediately terminate his current contract to join the Brisbane Roar.
This situation is totally different to a transfer based matter where Club and Player alike benefit from a potential move.
As at today, Adelaide United will not release the player. The club will continue to seek to resolve the matter with the player and or his agent and until that time there will be no further comment on the matter.
Lustica, 22, arrived in Brisbane at about this time last season as Mike Mulvey began to re-shape the squad and ended up making 12 appearances at the end of the season, chipping in with two goals from midfield. Following that however the former Sydney FC and Gold Coast youth player returned to his parent club Hajduk Split. Circumstances worked against him from then on as he was released from his contract just days after Brisbane signed Matt McKay to replace him, forcing Lustica to look elsewhere, and he ended up signing with Adelaide. So far he’s been a regular in the Adelaide squad with 15 appearances, and 1 goal to his credit this season.
The question I have surrounding all of this is where would Lustica fit in, given the current state of the Brisbane midfield, and squad in general. It would seem atm that there isn’t an opening in a starters role with Liam Miller, Matt McKay, Luke Brattan and even Ivan Franjic ahead of him you would think. In addition to those there is also George Lambadaridis who will return next season, utility Diogo Ferreira and also the impressive youngsters Devante Clut, Ben Litfin, Julius Doe and Patrick Theodore. So on the surface, there appears to be no immediate need in the middle of the park. So could it be that one of the starters is moving on either immediately or, in the off-season?
Im not sure it would surprise anyone if there was some serious interest from Asia and Europe given the form he’s shown in the last 12 months since getting regular football after Erik Paartalu’s departure. There is also the slight chance that Liam Miller moves on in the off-season, but given his improved form in recent weeks in not sure that’s likely. I think it’s fair enough that Adelaide refused his request for a release, especially given they still have their own ambitions for the season, and he is a required player for them who has featured regularly this season. That makes it a different set of circumstance to the Nick Fitzgerald situation last year where Brisbane had no interest in playing him following his move to Central Coast for this season, and has such they released him.