Melbourne Victory reject offer for Mitch Nichols

Scott Barbour

Cerezo Osaka's bid was declined by the Victory after it was deemed too low for a player so important to Kevin Muscat's team.

Melbourne Victory will not be selling Mitch Nichols to Cerezo Osaka, at least not in January with the terms offered by the J-League side. According to an A-League report, Cerezo sent a bid for AU $200,000 and half the profits from a future sale, which the Melbourne side summarily refused.

Cerezo manager Ranko Popovic, who was the head man at FC Tokyo the past two seasons, explained his desire to bring Nichols to the J-League, despite the Victory's initial reservations:

"I make no secret that we are trying to attract Mitch to the club and he's a player I admire very highly. He's a technically good player who will fit into the J-League but, just as important, he has, as many Australian players do, the right mentality.

"I need to finalize things with Mitch because he's a player I really want, but if we can't work out a way then I need to turn my attention elsewhere because there are a lot of talented players available, particularly in Europe.

"With all respect to football in Australia, this is the next step in Mitch's career and for his future to come to a league like the J-League."

Nichols is reportedly unhappy about not being allowed to move on from the A-League, though it makes perfect sense that the Victory would want more money for such a key player. As noted in the league's report, the club previously turned down bigger offers for captain Mark Milligan from English Premier League side Crystal Palace.

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