Brisbane, Maclaren at loggerheads over extension

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Will he stay or will he go?

Brisbane striker Jamie Maclaren’ future in Brisbane has been a hot topic over the last 24 hours with representatives of the striker and Brisbane Roar publically sparring in the media over a new contract.

The drama started back on Monday before escalating in the last 24 hours with Brisbane making their first offer to the player, which was labelled as insulting by Maclaren’s agent Paddy Dominguez, and the fallout left doubts over the players’ future in Brisbane.

In response to the rejected offer John Aloisi has indicated that if the goal is to maximise the financial gain than Brisbane would be unlikely to meet their demands, with the Roar locked in to marquee deals for Brett Holman and Tommy Oar going forward.

Representatives of both Maclaren and Brisbane are expected to meet in Sydney tonight ahead of tomorrows’ clash with Western Sydney. Adding to the drama this week is the rumours surrounding Robbie Keane, with the former Republic of Ireland international being linked to a marquee role with the Roar over the second half of the season.

Maclaren has been a big part of the success so far in the Aloisi era, with the striker scoring 22 goals in 33 games since arriving from Perth ahead of the 2015-16 season and his form has attracted the interest of both rival suitors and the National Team.

Here’s a few thoughts I had on this today
1) None of this is really surprising if you sit down and think about it, Maclaren is out of contract at the end of the season and it’s getting to the time where players are able to begin negotiations with other clubs. No doubt that Brisbane want to keep him but there’s also likely to be a long list of suitors who would be interested, some of which may like to acquire his services in January. With that in mind it’s no surprise that negotiations have picked up this week.

2) It’s not just with Maclaren that this will be an issue, a quick look at the upcoming free agents from Brisbane suggests that there’s a dilemma upcoming for Football Operations Manager Craig Moore. The likes of Jade North, Joey Katebian, Dimitri Petratos, Luke DeVere, Michael Theo, Nicholas D’Agostino, Manuel Arana and Jacob Pepper will all be off contract at seasons end and the likes of Petratos and DeVere could also attract similar levels of interest on the open market.

3) The situation gets worse when you factor in that Brisbane have already allocated their marquee spots to Tommy Oar and Brett Holman for next season, which will create some additional cap space. The Roar will however have to try and sign up current marquee duo Thomas Broich and Matt McKay within that freed up space, so the advantages might not be as great as expected.

4) I think it’s likely that that Maclaren will remain in Brisbane for at least the remainder of the season given his integral role in the way the side lines up, and the lack of a genuine alternative currently on the roster in addition to the upcoming ACL campaign. After that however seems to be a genuine toss-up for next season and beyond.

5) In previous seasons the January transfer window has been about the arrivals, with likes of Jade North, Steven Lustica (twice), Stef Nijland, Julius Davies, Jerome Polenz, Andrija Kaluderovic and latterly Tommy Oar all arriving. The most notable departures at this time of the season is a shorter list headlined by Mensur Kurtishi after his ill-fated stint at the club, while the likes of Reinaldo, Kwame Yeboah, Yuji Takahashi and Rocky Visconte are others whose departed at the halfway mark in recent years. Heading into this transfer window, instead of trying to add to the squad it could well be a case of fending off interest in the current playing group.

6) From Jamie Maclaren’s point of view, there’s a lot of factors to way up here which could lead this series of negotiations to become more protracted than both he or Brisbane Roar would like. Among the many things that Maclaren and his representatives will need to weigh up are, salary, length & terms of the contract,  is it time to go overseas, is the club the right fit and most importantly playing time with his Socceroos ambitions in mind. Brisbane has been an ideal fit for Maclaren since his arrival from Perth in July 2015, and now he needs to decide if that still remains his best option.

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