Maclaren's future could see him playing in England
JAMIE Maclaren is the target of a couple of English Premier League clubs if you believe reports coming out of the UK this week.
It might be the silly season and in January there is plenty of rubbish spoken about which player is going where but if these rumours are true and Maclaren has been approached by Stoke City and West Brom, then he would be mad not to take up any offer.
The 23-year-old is one of the rising stars of the A-League and apparently is also a target for fellow A-League club Western Sydney Wanderers.
He only has to look at what has happened to Aaron Mooy to see what a move to the UK can do for a players' career.
Mooy has starred for Huddersfield following his loan move from Manchester City after leaving sister club Melbourne City.
The Socceroos midfielder has been praised for his performances this season as the Terriers push for promotion.
City manager Pep Guardiola no doubt will have been impressed by Mooy's showings and he could even become a regular with City once his loan spell in Yorkshire is over at the end of this season.
Huddersfield manager Andy Hughes certainly believes in him.
"I think if he wants, he could be a top Premier League player,” Hughes told Fox Sports.
"I don't think he'd have any problem fitting into a top club. Obviously we want to keep him here.”
That is high praise indeed and what it shows that playing at a higher level will get players such as Mooy and Maclaren, if he decides to move, a higher profile.
Maclaren has been offered a three-year deal with the Roar, an offer his agent Paddy Dominguez labelled as "disgusting” and "highly disrespectful” earlier in the year.
Dominguez certainly thinks his star has what it takes to play at a higher level, telling SBS's The World Game: "I genuinely believe he has all the attributes to go all the way.
"When you challenge yourself with better players in a bigger league, that's when you become a better player.
"It's not surprising there will overseas be interest in Jamie.”
Roar coach John Aloisi has already said that if Maclaren is just looking for a bigger pay day then the three-time A-League title winners cannot compete.
Let's hope that if Maclaren does leave, and I believe he should, then it is because he wants to challenge himself on the field.
There is big money out there as we have seen this week with the Carlos Tevez move to China.
But what Australian players, especially those with as much talent as Maclaren, should not be doing is chasing the cash just yet.
A move to the EPL or Championship automatically will bring with it a bigger pay packet, so the Asian game should be left for later in the career.
A move to another A-League club would be a sideways move and that's no disrespect to our domestic competition, so for me it's either the UK, a big club in Europe or stay with the Roar and keep building the reputation.
The next few weeks could prove interesting for the Roar youngster.