AAP Soccer

Phoenix poised to lose ambitious Cacace

By AAP Newswire

Wellington Phoenix are in discussions with a European club suitor over the services of teenage defender Liberato Cacace, who may not see out the A-League season.

Cacace is expected to follow the trail to Europe of former Phoenix star Sarpreet Singh, who signed with German giants Bayern Munich a year ago.

There has been reported interest in marauding fullback Cacace from clubs in Belgium and the Netherlands, with Wellington coach Ufuk Talay confirming an expression of interest had been lodged.

No offer has been tabled but Phoenix management will likely be weighing up a transfer fee outcome, although probably not in the same sphere as the reported $1 million payment received from Bayern last July.

Cacace, who has a year to run on his Wellington contract, has long said his goal is to play in Europe.

Some coronavirus-affected European leagues will begin their new seasons in early August, meaning the 19-year-old may have to depart before the end of the A-League season.

Talay hopes it won't be a distraction.

"It'll be a massive loss if he does go, with the quality that he brings to the team, but we'll take it day by day," Talay said.

"It'll come down to what Wellington Phoenix decide at this stage for him.

"For us, at the moment, he's an integral part of the team.

"It's always going to be in the back of his head but what he can control is what he does here."

Cacace's showdown with Socceroos fullback Rhyan Grant should provide one of the highlights of Wellington's clash with Sydney FC at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium on Friday, in the match that will restart the A-League campaign.