Aaron Mooy appears set to stay at Premier League club Brighton, with the Seagulls reportedly ready to turn a loan move for the Socceroos midfielder into a bargain-basement £5 million ($A9.5m) permanent deal.
According to The Telegraph, Brighton is looking to lock down the versatile Australian now and avoid a Premier League bidding war come the end of the season.
Watch the Olyroos in the AFC U-23 Championship Semi-Finals LIVE on KAYO. New to Kayo? Get your 14-day free trial & start streaming instantly >
The former Manchester City player is still on the books at Huddersfield Town, who he helped get promoted into the Premier League in 2017.
But Huddersfield was relegated after a dismal second Premier League campaign last season, with the club subsequently sending the Australian on loan to Brighton in order to cut down their wage bill.
The 29-year-old has impressed with Brighton this campaign, including scoring on Wednesday morning against Bournemouth.
That has led to significant interest from Premier League rivals, with a bidding war expected over his services at the end of the season.
Luckily for Brighton, since Mooy played for Huddersfield this season – albeit just once – FIFA transfer rules mean that he would not be eligible to play for a third club this season. That meant Premier League rivals did not pursue a January transfer move.
Now the Seagulls will reportedly sign a permanent transfer to secure his future.
According to The Telegraph, the deal will cost Brighton £5 million ($A9.5m) – significantly below his expected transfer fee if Brighton waited until the end of the season.
It is a surprisingly low figure given Huddersfield splashed a club-record £8m (rising to £10m with bonuses) for the 32-cap Socceroo.
LISTEN! How to run a football club on the Fox Football Podcast
– CEOs Tony Pignata (Perth Glory) & Danny Townsend (Sydney FC) with Adam Peacock
ON YOUR PHONE? CLICK HERE TO LISTEN