‘We only want players who want to be here’: Rudan confirms McDonald ‘wants out’ of United
Mark Rudan has confirmed Scott McDonald has asked to be released from his Western United FC contract but denied a deal has been done to join a Hyundai A-League rival.
McDonald was left out of the United squad which lost 3-2 against Melbourne City at AAMI Park on Friday night.
Reports on The World Game earlier in the day suggested the ex-Socceroos striker had agreed an 18-month deal to join Brisbane Roar.
While rejecting claims McDonald was already out of the club, Rudan confirmed his experienced attacker has generated interest from another club.
"He received an 18-month contract and Scott McDonald approached me during the week saying he wants out. No dramas there,” Rudan told reporters after the match.
"He played a full game last week so I never confirmed that he was out. I just said that he's received an 18-month contract and he's still Western United's football player – he's still contracted with us.
"There's no deal been done – that's quite simple."
McDonald was a key recruit for United for their inaugural season, making nine appearances as the competition newcomers made a superb start to life in the Hyundai A-League.
The 36-year-old has scored one goal – the winner against Melbourne Victory in Round 4 – while also assisting another.
His experience and quality has been pivotal to United’s success so far but Rudan concedes he only wants to work with players that want to be at the club.
"I made it very clear it's going to be a challenging environment, one that's going to take you out of your comfort zone, one you need to be on the edge,” the United boss said.
"If you're not willing to take on challenges, if you want to do whatever you want to do then it's not the club for you.
"So like I said, normally when a player starts a game and plays a full game, they should be OK about it.
"But he clearly wants something else. And that's for him to decide and...in terms of us as a football club, we're very clear on who we are and we want people that are going to buy into our club going forward."
Rather than dwell on McDonald’s likely departure, Rudan was happier to focus on the impressive clutch of youngsters that stood out against City.
Valentino Yuel, Apostolos Stamatelopoulos and Seb Pasquali all started, while substitute Dylan Pierias was a game-changer in the second half and there was also debuts off the bench for Josh Cavallo and Thierry Iradakunda.
"The amount of young players who put their hands up today and said ‘we are Western United’,” Rudan said.
"We want to be here for the long term. I'm really, really proud of every single one of them.
“They showed fight and an excellent attitude. Pierias comes on and he’s positive, and Iradakunda showed some bite and heart in midfield.
“That’s what we’re about. That’s the big story for us, irrespective of the result, that was the positive for us and they should hold their heads very high.”
United have the bye next weekend before returning for a home match against Central Coast Mariners on Sunday, January 19 at GMHBA Stadium. Kick-off is at 4pm AEDT.