|By PATRICK SEXTON
The Tom Rogic transfer saga took another twist on Tuesday, with the Central Coast Mariners quashing rumours they received a transfer bid from English Premier League club Queens Park Rangers.
Reports had suggested QPR submitted a $700,000 offer for the midfield star, but the Mariners denied any such offer existed, confirming the club were merely sent an invitation for Rogic to trial at Loftus Road which the Mariners rejected.
''All the Mariners have had is a letter from them asking for Tom [Rogic] to come and trial and we rejected that. We did have an inquiry from a UK agent with Tommy coming to trial, which was great, but we said he wouldn't be going to trial. That's all it's been,'' Mariners director of football Lawrie McKinna told The Sydney Morning Herald.
Rogic is on trial with Scottish side Celtic at their mid-season training camp in Spain and has also been linked with a move to Reading, whose interest in the Socceroo has been well known for some time. Fulham have also been credited with an interest in the player who shot to fame after taking part in Nike's The Chance program in 2011.
Despite the calibre of clubs chasing the player, McKinna revealed Rogic was only allowed to trial with Celtic due to a three-match suspension he received against Sydney FC in Week13 of the A-League.
The former Mariners manager also stated striker Bernie Ibini, who is on trial at Belgium side Club Brugge, was granted permission to leave because of a clause in his contract.
''The club's looked like we're trying to flog players overseas but we're not. Tom Rogic is only going to trial with Celtic because he's suspended," McKinna said.
"Young Bernie [Ibini] is away for 10 days with Brugge, but young Bernie's got in his contract that if a club from overseas pays his expenses, he can go and trial. That's actually in his contract, we could not stand in Bernie's way."