Former Socceroos goalkeeper Mark Bosnich wants Australian skipper Lucas Neill to return home and play in the A-League.
Neill is on the lookout for a new home after UAE club Al Wasl decided to release the 34-year-old in order to sign Iraqi international Ahmed Ibrahim.
While it’s believed the veteran central defender would prefer to remain in the Middle East, Bosnich would love to see Neill return home and contribute to what’s been a thriving A-League season.
Neill has been reluctant to return to club football in Australia in recent seasons and would need to take a major pay cut if he was to link with a domestic club.
Some high-profile Socceroos have also in the past been reluctant to return to the A-League in the twilight of their career for fear of not living up to their lofty reputations.
But Bosnich said that shouldn’t be a factor and wants to see as many of Australia’s best players return to play at home before they finish up their careers.
“You put your reputation on the line every week,” the former Manchester United and Socceroos shot-stopper said on Friday.
“If they think like that they’ve got certain problems mentally and they don’t think they’re quite the same player.
“But if you back yourself as a player there’s no problem coming back here.
“If you don’t fancy yourself for a full season just come back and do some guest games. It’s not a problem at all to finish where you started.
“They (Socceroos stars) can contribute a lot here. Not only on the pitch but off the pitch and it’s very important the best players do come back here and contribute because we haven’t got many.”
Neill has always expressed a desire to lead Australia to the World Cup in Brazil in 2014 and will be desperate to find a club as soon as possible to keep in top shape.
Asked if Neill should look to move away from the Middle East now this deal has been terminated, Bosnich said: “The bottom line is when you’re earning top dollar like Lucas would be, if you’re not performing week in week out they will get someone else a lot cheaper.
“It’s a very difficult thing because once you earn that type of money it’s very difficult for anyone to take a bit of a pay cut.
“But you’ve got to make sure that you’re one of the best players every week. Or else this is what happens.”