Wellington Phoenix will do everything within their power to keep sought-after striker Roy Krishna at the club, according to General Manager David Dome.
Krishna is arguably the highest-profile of a number of Phoenix players coming to the conclusion of their contracts this offseason, and the Fijian’s stellar campaign has made him the target of a number of clubs.
Under now former boss Mark Rudan’s tutelage, Krishna guided the Phoenix back into the A-League finals for the first time since 2014 – finishing sixth – with 18 goals and five assists to his name.
If a variety of reports are to be believed, Krishna has links to host of teams from different parts of the world. Locally, both Melbourne A-League clubs have been mentioned as suitors while Asia and the MLS have been mooted as possible destinations.
According to Goal Australia, Krishna has already turned down a concrete offer from Indian side ATK.
Krishna has never ruled out remaining at the Phoenix.
Dome told Tuesday’s Daily Football Show that he and the club would throw “as much as we can” at Krishna in an effort to shore up his future.
“Of course we want to keep Roy, he’s the Golden Boot and he’s been with us now for quite some time and in that time, he’s grown,” Dome said of Krishna.
“We brought him on when he was Paul Ifill’s understudy and each year, he’s got better and better and better.
“We’re not going to die wondering with Roy, we’re going to throw as much as we can at Roy to keep him in Wellington.
“But at the end of the day, Roy has to make the choice that’s right for him and we know that he just married and his wife has a significant business in Fiji.
“The commute between Wellington and Fiji is very easy.
“He’s loved here in Wellington and he’s seen as an integral part of the club as a ‘Wellingtonian’ here and the fans love him, no doubt about it.
“So we hope that, coupled with a good financial package, is enough to keep him here.
“That will probably be top of Ufuk’s list, to start to talking to two or three players that he really wants to keep at the club and hopefully Roy’s one of those.”
Tying down out of contract players will be among the first tasks of new Nix manager Ufuk Talay, who will replace outgoing Rudan.
The current Sydney FC assistant is faced with the challenge of convincing those players to stay, including midfielder Mandi Sosa and forward David Williams.
Dome hoped the “winning mentality” Wellington had identified in Talay would get signatures on the dotted line, and propel the club forward in the 2019-20 season, which is currently their final licensed season in the league.
“Ufuk was someone that we’ve been keen on for a while, we’ve kind of been tracking his career for a little bit,” Dome added.
“We saw him similarly to how Mark (Rudan) is as a coach, coming with a lot of passion and a lot of drive.
“One thing we were very keen on was someone that was going to come to the club with a winning mentality and get the best out of the players and that’s a quality we’ve identified.”