Rivals circle, De Silva eyes Mariners exit

Vince Rugari and Ben McKay
Central Coast's Daniel De Silva wants to leave the struggling A-League club and rivals are circling

Central Coast young gun Daniel De Silva is certain to leave the A-League strugglers with a host of rival clubs hoping to snare his signature.

Brisbane and Melbourne City are among those interested in the 21-year-old attacking midfielder, who is keen on a move despite having two seasons left on his contract with the Mariners.

De Silva, who has represented Australia at all youth levels, is mulling his options.

Roar boss John Aloisi is keen to inject youth into his side after fielding the oldest team this year in Australian domestic football history.

He's already added Adam Taggart to his squad for next season, while Danish winger Tobias Mikkelsen is also understood to have signed on.

Mikkelsen, 31, is a former international teammate of Brisbane midfielder Thomas Kristensen, who had helped to orchestrate the deal.

De Silva would be a crucial addition for the Roar, with former Socceroo Brett Holman no certainty to play on next season.

Holman's marquee contract is up and, while the Roar are keen to bring him under the salary cap, their most-recent contract offers haven't met his salary expectations.

City are also a firm option for De Silva, holding great appeal due to their established links to European football.

Warren Joyce and City's hierarchy want to establish themselves as an unrivalled production line of young Australian talent - and can boast Daniel Arzani and Nathaniel Atkinson as case studies in their commitment to giving emerging players game time.

A double-Daniel forward line of De Silva and Arzani, who was named on Monday as A-League young player of the year, would be a tantalising prospect for City and fans.

It might also be the start of a partnership that carries into the Socceroos.

De Silva returned to Australian football after a stint with Roda JC in the Netherlands to work with Paul Okon at the Mariners.

The deal he signed with them, however, contained an exit clause related to Okon.

De Silva is also believed to have contractual links to Italian club Roma, which must be factored into any future moves.

De Silva made 22 appearances this season for the Mariners, scoring three goals and providing one assist as they collected the wooden spoon.