Sydney FC coach Graham Arnold says Grand Final hero Milos Ninkovic will stay with the Sky Blues because his wife wants to remain in the Harbour City.
Milos Ninkovic’s outstanding season was followed up in the decider when the midfield maestro scored the winning penalty kick that secured Sydney FC their third A-League Grand Final.
The Johnny Warren medal winner is now a free agent and the question of will he stay or go has been discussed for months, but Graham Arnold believes Ninkovic has an offer he can't refuse.
“Well I told him about 10 weeks ago, happy wife happy life,” he said.
“And she said at the A-League awards that she wants to stay so she wears the trousers and Ninko doesn’t and Ninko will do as he is told.”
Regarding the Serbian’s penalty shootout’s heroics, Arnold added, “I thought it was fitting that Ninkovich finished it off the way he did because I thought he was outstanding all season. “
Speaking during the post-match Grand Final celebrations on the Allianz Stadium pitch, Ninkovic gave the Sky Blues faithful hope that he may extend his contract.
“I like these guys too much and I would like to see this team in the (AFC) Champions League next year,” Ninkovic told Fox Sports.
“I like these guys, I like the fans, I like the club.
“I can’t promise you anything but probably I will stay.”
Arnold also stressed that even though the club will have to deal with Salary Cap restrictions, Sydney would be able to keep most of their Grand Final winning squad intact.
“Most of the players are locked in for next season,” he said.
“There will be a few signings announced this week and we move forward.
“We have a great culture that players will take unders to come to that type of culture.
“When players are cared for and looked after and know that they are going to improve their game and improve their performance why would you take $20,000 dollars extra to go to the other side of Australia or another club when you are not going to get that type of stuff from a club?”
Looking ahead to next season’s campaign, Arnold said he is looking to do even better than the history making feats the Sky Blues achieved this season.
“We do it again next year,” he said.
“When you win the league by 17 points you’ve got to be pretty confident, it might not be 17 points again but I always strive for 50 points plus, that is the first goal.
“The thing is I’m never happy, I’m happy that we’ve done everything. Next year I have to raise the standards even more. I’m happy for the boys that’s the most important thing.
“Wherever I work, every day I try and create high standards and standards that need to be reached and the question is how high can the standards can go to and can be.
“And for me we can go higher and get better and we’ve got some smart recruiting to do over the next three months.”