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CENTRAL Coast Mariners prodigy Tom Rogic could be playing in the English Premier League within weeks as contract talks with Reading near finalisation.

And Rogic could be joined in the UK by Mariners teammate Mat Ryan, who is close to signing with Championship club Derby.

Though both deals are subject to being granted work permits - the red tape that stymied Rogic's hopes of joining Reading just over a year ago - it's believed Derby and Reading are confident of success given both players' recent club and Socceroos success.

It is understood that transfer fees and personal terms have been agreed in principle.

It means Rogic could be playing in the English Premier League just 12 months after signing his first professional contract, though Reading is locked in a relegation battle.

Derby are sixth in the Championship, six points off the playoff places.

The sales will leave a gaping hole in the Mariners' first XI for the second half of the season, with the team topping the table heading into the New Year's fixtures.

But the finances of the Gosford club mean it can't afford to turn down the deals because the new TV deal money is not on tap until next July.

Rogic would have joined Reading 13 months ago after impressing at the Nike Academy in the UK, but had no professional experience to convince the UK immigration authorities.

Though he has not played in the usually requisite 75 per cent of Socceroos games over the past year, he has shown in a year at the Mariners, his Olyroo experience and four caps for the national team that he can be presented as a special case for a permit.

Ryan has more than two years of experience for the Mariners as first-choice keeper plus several Socceroos call-ups, and will be presented as an established first-team prospect for Derby, who will not block the path of developing English players.

Mariners chairman Peter Turnbull confirmed both deals were on the table, which he said was testament to the club's youth production line.

"Yes, both clubs are interested, and it once again shows what the Mariners are about and the development we do," he said.

"It proves why we're youth league champions and A-League premiers, and why we're the club of choice for the best young talent."

Nonetheless, it presents another nightmare for coach Graham Arnold. He has lost a clutch of senior players over the past year, including Matt Simon, Rostyn Griffiths and captain Alex Wilkinson. The chances of finding replacements are meagre at this time of the season.

Rogic sat out last night's home game against Perth after being hit with a three-match ban for his two-footed tackle on Sydney FC's Rhyan Grant last week at the end of the Mariners' 1-0 loss at Allianz Stadium.

He is due to return on January 19 against Newcastle in the F3 derby, but may have played his last game for the Mariners if the deal is signed by then.


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Fantastic young keeper, one of the most talented young keepers I've seen.

If I recall correctly he was given his chance at around 18 due to an injury to the Mariner's first choice keeper. He was a bit patchy at first, but now at 20 he's been one of the standout keepers of the competition, with only Eugene Galekovic, the 31 year old Adelaide captain, being the better keeper from what I've seen.

At only twenty he's got a Premiership win (league win), a Championship runner up (lost in a Grand Final, Australia has a playoff system to decide their Champions) in which he was man of the match, as well as most clean sheets (2010-11) and back to back young player of the year awards. He's also been capped for Australia and is seen as a possible long term replacement for Mark Schwarzer for Australia.

No idea why we'd be looking at him with Frankie and Legzdins, but he's a mighty good young keeper.

Speaking of A-league players though, I'd love for us to have a look at players like Marco Rojas at Melbourne Victory (a young Kiwi international winger, 21 years old), Tom Rogic (another Mariners player, attacking midfielder with a real touch of class, 20 years of age) and potentially Brisbane's Erik Paartalu (deep lying midfielder, 26 years of age), although Paartalu is out of form at the moment. All 3 of them are out of contract at the end of the season as well from what I can tell. If we were to lose Hughes Rojas and Rogic could certainly replace his creativity.

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Rogic's off to Reading, Albert read the OP

There's talk of it, but it isn't official yet. Of the 3 I mentioned Rojas is by far the best of them. He's got 9 goals and 5 assists in 12 games this season as a winger, good young player.

Anyhow, I can't find any other mention of Ryan coming to us, so I'm not entirely sure where it's come from.

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Well, he's off contract and the Mariners have had some money issues in recent times, it is possible that we could get Ryan in fairly cheaply. If it is genuine, and Ryan is coming it would almost certainly me one of Fielding or Legzdins is leaving, and with Legzdins holding down his place well at the moment, if Fielding is on a high wage it might make sense for him to move on, although I don't think I'd want that to happen. If it needed to for whatever reason though, this kid would be my first pick for a replacement though.

I haven't seen this rumour anywhere else though, and I doubt that it's true, we'll see what happens.

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'Derby are sixth in the Championship, six points off the playoff places.' ?????????????????

I can easily believe that we are about to sell a keeper. We can sell either one without lowering the quality of the team. However, getting a non EU replacement to sit on the bench is (unless the rules on work permits have changed) unlikely.

I'm pretty sure that players need to play something like 66% of games to have their work permits renewed. This is most unlikely for a back up keeper. I know they changed the rules a few years ago to allow work permits to run for the duration of contracts, instead of being renewed annually as was previously the case, but that would mean releasing just as he was coming into his prime.

The only way I can see this appening is if they have dicovered a European grand parent, allowing him dual nationality.

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Frank Fielding can't be happy sitting on the bench, regardless of how good a professional or how good a character he is. And I would agree, it is likely he is on significantly higher wages than Legzdins, given that he came from a premiership club. I think it makes sense that he could be sold and replaced by someone like this.

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