Now Burns is Shanghai target

January 20, 2015 11:36:03 UK

Socceroos striker Nathan Burns could be heading back to Asia to play his club football, with Chinese club Shanghai Shenhua said to have made him a big offer.

Shenhua had been set to complete a deal for fellow Australia international Tomi Juric last week, only to have the striker turn them down at the 11th hour.

The Chinese Super League side, who had offered Juric $10 million over three years, have now switched their attentions to the man who is leading the A-League’s scoring charts.

Burns has scored 10 goals for Wellington Phoenix this season, propelling him back into the Australia squad for the Asian Cup.

The 26-year-old had an unhappy time in Asia with South Korean side Incheon United, playing just three times for them in an 18-month stint that ended when he went on loan to Newcastle Jets in July 2013.

Burns is the fastest player to reach the 10-goal mark in an A-League season, and his form could see him follow in the footsteps of Daniel McBreen and Adam Taggart who both earned lucrative moves abroad after being the competition’s top scorer.

Reports suggest the Chinese club have offered Burns an annual net salary close to $2.5 million.

The Phoenix, who have finished in the bottom two in the past two seasons, are riding high in second spot this time around and would be reluctant to sell the striker.

They have him under contract until the end of next season, though would be unlikely to be able to knock back a big offer from Shanghai – they were set to pay Western Sydney Wanderers an Australian record $2 million for Juric.

Wellington Phoenix are 6.50 to win the A-League Grand Final.

Burns’ agent Bernie Mandic said he would not discuss the Burns offer. “It’s been very frustrating watching the way third parties have continually been destabilising Australian players while they are in camp,” Mandic said.

“We don’t believe that it is in anyone’s best interests to be conducting negotiations via the media and will not be commenting on mere speculation.”

Wellington are 3.00 to win their next A-League match against Brisbane Roar, who are 2.30 with the draw currently available at 3.40.

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