Western Sydney Wanderers striker Tomi Juric appears certain to break the Australian transfer record this summer after his club received a $2 million transfer offer from an unnamed Chinese club.
Juric is in the final five months of his contract with the Wanderers, but may have played his final game for the club with Hangzhou Shenhua and another Chinese Super League club submitting lucrative offers of $1.5 million and $2 million respectively to make him a January acquisition.
The 23-year-old forward will become a free agent when his contract expires in June, but the Wanderers could still land an incredible windfall with a late sale.
Regardless of which deal they choose, the club appears certain to create a new transfer record with both offers in excess of the $1.3 million Central Coast Mariners received from Guangzhou R&F for Rostyn Griffiths.
Juric was close to sealing a move to Hangzhou in December before negotiations stalled, but the club has since submitted a renewed offer to the Wanderers with a transfer fee of $1.5 million.
The contract on offer to Juric would make him the highest paid Australian footballer; he could earn as much as $18 million over three seasons. The deal includes a minimum salary of $3 million, with bonuses and other benefits on offer.
Club sources suggest Juric is eager to finalise a deal with Hangzhou despite a rival Chinese club – from a smaller city – offering a salary worth more than Shenhua’s proposed contract of more than $3 million a season.
However, the player could be set for a clash with the Western Sydney hierarchy, which is understood to be ready to accept the offer from the rival Chinese club, rather than Juric’s preferred destination.
The club has informed Juric’s representatives of their preference to accept the $2 million offer with no guarantee of allowing him to move to Hangzhou.