Western Sydney Wanderers coach Tony Popovic would not confirm whether star striker Kerem Bulut will be at the club next season when asked of the player’s future following their 2-1 win over Adelaide United on Saturday night.
Popovic issued a terse response when asked whether Bulut will be re-signed as fans unveiled a banner before the start of the match showing support for the player.
The Wanderers’ supporter group, The Red and Black Bloc, showed their desire for the club to do whatever they can to retain the in-demand forward after reports surfaced last week of Bulut being offered a below-par salary to remain at Pirtek Stadium.
A banner reading “BULUT $TAY$” met the entrance of the teams on the pitch in a clear statement of the player’s popularity with the fans. However, Popovic remained coy as to whether the off-contract Bulut will be at the club next season and fuelled speculation over his future.
“Would I like to have him? well, we’ll see,” Popovic said.
Bulut is understood to be attracting interest from clubs in Australia and abroad having scored five goals in eight games since making his debut for the club in late February. Bulut was signed initially only for the Asian Champions League campaign but was registered in the A-League squad as an injury replacement player, making his debut against his former club Sydney FC and scoring a brace.
His contract expires at the end of the season and Popovic hit back at recent reports of transfer activity, dismissing it as speculation.
“There is no situation,” Popovic said. “All of [the players] are in my plans. I’m not going to comment on speculation where things come out in the papers that just come from God knows where, but if you hear something from our club in terms of a player then we’ll give you a quote, but at the moment there’s nothing but speculation about Kerem. Same with all the players, I don’t see you asking about any other player. There’s a process that we follow in terms of re-signing players and bringing players in and that doesn’t change.”
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