West Australian soccer phenomenon Daniel De Silva is on the verge of securing a record-breaking multi-million dollar move to one of the world’s biggest domestic competitions – Italian top flight Serie A.
De Silva, a 17-year-old attacking midfielder who is in his second season with Perth Glory, left WA with his family last night and is understood to be close to agreeing a deal with one of Italy’s highest-profile clubs.
Former Socceroos midfielder Vince Grella and UK-based football agent Frank Trimboli have been key figures in the deal, which will see Glory pocket a record transfer fee for a player leaving the A-League.
The record was set when current Glory midfielder Rostyn Griffiths made a $1.3million move from Central Coast to Chinese club Guangzhou R&F in 2012.
De Silva has played just 12 A-League games for Glory since making his senior debut in March last year, including 10 appearances off the bench.
The deal with the Serie A club would almost certainly involve De Silva being loaned back to Glory until the end of his existing contract, which expires at the end of next season.
Glory chief executive Jason Brewer said the WA club would do anything it could to assist De Silva’s progression to top-level of European soccer.
“We can all agree that Daniel is an exceptional talent that has had major interest from abroad,” Brewer said.
“We feel that it is our moral obligation as a club to best facilitate his future as best we can.
“It is also important to remember that Daniel is contracted with us until July 2015, and he will remain with the club until he is 18.”
De Silva was identified as a potential star several years ago while playing in Perth local leagues and has since attracted the attention of some of the world’s biggest clubs.
He trained with Everton in 2012 and caught the eye of scouts from Inter Milan and Manchester United at a Nike All-Asia Football Camp.
Last year, he made international headlines at the FIFA Under-20 World Cup, becoming Australia’s youngest goal scorer.
De Silva’s family reportedly knocked back an approach from Italian Serie A club Catania last year, following rave reviews of the teenager’s progress with Glory and Australia’s underage teams.
It was believed Glory owner Tony Sage was ready to accept the $1million offer from Catania.
De Silva was a late withdrawal from Glory’s game against Melbourne Victory last week after suffering an accidental head knock during the warm-up.
He will miss tomorrow’s match away to Western Sydney and the following fixture at home to Newcastle (March 30) while discussing terms in Italy.