MALAYSIAN Super League champions Kelantan FA hope to snare Sydney FC striker Dimi Petratos on loan and this week filed a request for the young star.
The club is seeking to boost their foreign contingent ahead of its AFC Cup commitments which begin in March next year.
A spokesperson for the Red Warriors told au.fourfourtwo.com they were keen to sign Sydney’s out-of-favour striker on a five-month loan deal.
But the club was clearly surprised that news of their interest in the young speedster – touted as a future star – had already broken in the Australian media.
The spokesman asking: “How do you know about our interest in Dimi Petratos? We just started discussions. We sent a letter of request to the club in the last two days.”
Sydney FC refused to speculate about the future of the 20-year-old who was recently involved in a training ground bust-up with goalkeeper coach, Zeljko Kalac.
However Petratos’s agent James Hardy is pushing the club over the deal and said there was “concrete
interest” from Malaysia’s championship outfit.
Hardy said a decision on the future of Petratos was expected next week.
“We’re at stand-off with the club,” he said. “Obviously I’m not very happy because a player like that should be playing regularly.
“He’s not even on the team sheet tonight. If he’s not playing, he’s not on the team sheet and he’s only played one game all year, I don’t see what the problem is. You either want him or you don’t. Someone else does want him and will play him.
“He’s young player, and we’re all about developing footballers and their careers, and if Sydney FC really care about his career they need to let him go. Putting him in the youth team is not developing him at all.”
With his career stalled, and little to no game time under his belt, those close to the player are concerned he’ll struggle to find another club when his contract with the Sky Blues winds up at the end of the season. The club has been told it needs to make a decision sooner rather than later.
“(Sydney FC) expect to make a decision at some time next week,” Hardy added. “But at the end of the day Kelantan is a big big club over there and they’re very keen to get him.
“I recommended Dimi and they liked him. They’ve done their research and decided he’s the type of player they want.”
A former NYL player, Petratos burst onto the scene for the Sky Blues during their 2010/11 campaign but has since struggled for game time.
He has made just one appearance for the senior team this season in their 3-2 home loss to Newcastle Jets and was substituted early in the second half.
The Malaysian Super League kicks off again in January. While the Red Warriors have filled their two-player foreign quota, AFC Cup rules permit an additional overseas signing for the tournament.
Last season the club romped home with the Malaysian FA Cup, Malaysian Super League and the Malaysia Cup.
Meanwhile, Sydney FC declined to comment on speculation that a move by Petratos would free space on the roster to bring in an extra defender.
The Sky Blues have leaked 20 goals in the first seven games of the season and sit rock bottom of the A-League table going into round 8 of their campaign.
In May, Petratos was linked with a move to new A-League outfit Western Sydney Wanderers but was declared off limits by the Sky Blues.