Melbourne City coach Warren Joyce could be on the move.
Melbourne City coach Warren Joyce could be on the move.

Rival pitch for City coach Joyce

MELBOURNE City coach Warren Joyce has been linked with the Wellington Phoenix job, ahead of a potential A-League merry-go-round.

Wellington is understood to have held talks with Joyce's representatives, as the New Zealand-based club prepares for life after Mark Rudan - who looks set to join expansion club Western United next season.

But City chiefs are understood to be considering handing a contract extension to Joyce, whose two-year deal runs out in May.

A romantic return to Old Trafford also remains a possibility for Joyce, new manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer hinting he wants to put some of Sir Alex Ferguson's old band back together, after he was handed the Manchester United job on a permanent basis.

Joyce, 54, fumed when he was asked about the link after City's 3-0 loss to Western Sydney away on Saturday.

"If you want me to talk on camera … that's rubbish. I'm going," Joyce said before walking away.

Adelaide United boss Marco Kurz is a frontrunner for the Phoenix job, while recently departed Brisbane Roar assistant Ross Aloisi is also on the shortlist, with the fact that he is an ex-Wellington player appealing to club chiefs.

Adelaide United coach Marco Kurz could also be on the move, with Phoenix a possible destination. Picture: Getty Images
Adelaide United coach Marco Kurz could also be on the move, with Phoenix a possible destination. Picture: Getty Images

It's believed that club officials are considering replicating the Rudan template by appointing a rookie senior coach with a penchant for playing kids.

Former Joeys coaches, now-Melbourne City assistant Tony Vidmar and Yokohama F Marinos assistant Pete Cklamovski, are believed to be on the radar, as well as Arthur Papas, who recently joined Ange Postecoglou and Cklamovski at the Japanese club.

Wellington officials are buoyed by the impact of Rudan, who has provided a distinct youth-focus en route to a stunning run which has lifted Phoenix to fourth and a certain finals placing.

Andrew Durante and  Mark Rudan during their time together at the Phoenix. Picture: AAP
Andrew Durante and Mark Rudan during their time together at the Phoenix. Picture: AAP

Young All Whites Liberato Cacace and Sarpreet Singh have played key roles for the Phoenix, while 20 and under trio Callan Elliot, Ben Waine and Gianni Stensness have also debuted.

Kurz, who has also been linked to the Melbourne City post, could be the key to the coaching domino, after Adelaide bosses recently confirmed that he would be departing at the end of the season.

Western United, meanwhile, appears to have secured the goalkeeper coach for next season, with ex-Socceroo and Melbourne Knights championship winner Frank Juric set to leave his post at Adelaide United and return home.



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