|By JAMES RANSON
English Premier League side Reading have had a bid in the region of AU $600,000 confirmed for emerging Central Coast Mariners' star Tom Rogic.
The 20-year-old Australia international has been one of the standout players in the opening half of the A-League season and looks set to be on his way to England, with Reading reigniting their off-season pursuit of the playmaker.
Rogic, who is out of contract in May, has only to agree personal terms for the deal to be ticked off according to Mariners chairman Peter Turnbull.
"We have been in discussions with Reading and both clubs are fairly satisfied with what’s on the table and now it's up to Tom to reach a personal agreement with Reading," Turnbull told The World Game.
Turnbull if would be with some regret should Rogic depart the Mariners, but said the A-League leaders' hands were tied and could ill-afford to lose him for nothing when his contract expires.
"I am not going to say what the figure is but there is an agreement there. Of course we don't want to see him go," he said.
"I'd like to have Tommy here for another six years because he's a special player.
"But the reality is that quality Australian players will always want to test themselves overseas where they can command the salaries and exposure they cannot command here.
"You have seen it with the Harry Kewells, Brett Emertons, Lucas Neills, Jason Culinas and so many more over the years.
"We could keep Tom here until May when his contract expires but then he could leave for nothing, and we as a club would be out of pocket. It's a situation where are hands are really tied.
"The way things are now I would expect that things will be resolved by the end of the week concerning Tom and it may be that he will decide to stay, though considering his past association with Reading perhaps that would be unlikely."
The Royals tried in vain to sign the Canberra-born Rogic just over a year ago after spotting him at England's Nike Academy, but the deal fell through when he was refused a work permit by British authorities.
Reading manager Brian McDermott is said to be readying an appeal should Rogic's work permit be rejected for a second time, leaving the remainder of January to iron out all the details.
McDermott's side are staring down the barrel of relegation to the Championship, with the newly promoted club five points adrift of safety over halfway through the Premier League season.
If a deal goes is completed, Rogic would become the third Australian on Reading's books, along with goalkeeper Adam Federici and 19-year-old attacker Ryan Edwards.
Rogic has appeared 24 times in two seasons for the Mariners and earned the first of his three international caps in a 1-0 win over Hong Kong in early December.