Brisbane Roar skipper Matt Smith says he’s not interested in speculation linking young defender Luke Brattan with a possible move to Japan.
As far as Brisbane Roar skipper Matt Smith is concerned, talk about the future of young midfielder Luke Brattan means nothing and he hopes the speculation won’t derail the club’s solid start to the A-League season.
The Roar top the table after seven rounds following their impressive 3-1 home win against Western Sydney last weekend, with 23-year-old Brattan an ever-present in the club’s campaign.
Graham Arnold, newly appointed as coach of Japanese club Vegalta Sendai, says Brattan is one of several A-League players he’s keeping an eye on with foreign spots available at his new team.
Roar coach Mike Mulvey has already told Arnold to look elsewhere as he’s not interested in selling Brattan, who is contracted to the Roar until 2015.
And Smith says unless he hears from Mulvey or the club’s general manager Sean Dobson that a player is going he doesn’t buy into newspaper speculation.
“It’s just talk. People can talk all they like,” Smith said.
“What does it mean? It just means potentially our players can get distracted by other things. I, as a player, certainly don’t want that for any of our players.
“I’m sure that whatever’s been said in the media, nothing’s signed, sealed and delivered until Mike and Sean come to me and tell me a deal’s been done.”
The Roar are preparing to take on old rivals Perth in Saturday’s game at Suncorp Stadium, where the hosts are undefeated in their past eight matches in a run extending back to January.
Smith captained the Roar in their controversial 2012 grand final win at the venue against the Glory and he admits that match has ensured every meeting between the two clubs has an extra edge to it.
“I expect them to come out at us at Suncorp,” he said.
“Games against Perth are always feisty.
“We’ve got some good history between the two sides over the years and I expect it to be another fierce encounter.”
Veteran fullback Shane Stefanutto appears unlikely to return from a hamstring injury for Saturday’s clash after not training on Monday while Mulvey has said former Perth midfielder Liam Miller is out after suffering a setback in his recovery from a calf problem.
The Glory have injury concerns of their own with fullback Scott Jamieson undergoing surgery on a ruptured Achilles tendon while star French import William Gallas is a doubt after limping off in last weekend’s 2-1 loss to Central Coast with a calf injury.