Australia need Milligan to play every week - Osieck

The Socceroos coach wants one of his midfielders to be assured of a place for his club side, as interested parties circle the A-League star

Holger Osieck says he need to see Mark Milligan playing regularly next season, amid reports linking the Melbourne Victory midfielder with Crystal Palace.

Milligan, 27, is understood to be the subject of a bid from the club promoted to the English Premier League via the Championship play-offs last season.

If he decided to move to London, Milligan could find himself in competition for a place in Palace's midfield with Mile Jedinak, a direct rival for a berth in Australia's starting XI at the 2014 World Cup.  

Alternatively, Palace manager Ian Holloway could employ the versatile Milligan in central defence.

When asked if he would prefer to see Milligan turning out every week for Victory or competing for a place in a Premier League side, Osieck acknowledged the player has a difficult decision to make.

"Having a spot more or less secured in his home team [Victory], but even there he is not guaranteed [to play], if he doesn't perform," he said.

"And having the opportunity to play in one of the top leagues in the world [is tempting]. He is that kind of character that he would fight through [to win a place] if given the opportunity.

"It's down to him, it's his discretion as to what is best for him. What's important to me is he plays regularly."

Osieck was also adamant he would not advise Milligan in favour of either course of action, preferring to remain neutral.

"I would never do anything like that," he said when asked what he would say if Milligan came to him for advice.

"I can't offend our domestic league and I'm not an agent of a foreign team."

Another player whose future is uncertain is Matt McKay, who was released by Changchun Yatai on Friday and will be seeking a new club for the coming season.

Osieck is confident the experienced utility player will be snapped up quickly, and expressed his surprise at the Chinese Super League outfit letting the former Brisbane Roar star go.

"He is a player that everybody would like to have on [their] team, obviously except for his Chinese [side]," he said.

"I'm really not worried about that. He's still an important member of our squad. It's not too his disadvantage."

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