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Derby close in for Aussie

Paul Jewell looks to have beaten off French competition to land Australian international Mile Sterjovski, who could become a Derby County player today.

Rams manager Jewell revealed that Ligue One outfit St Etienne were keen to sign Sterjovski, who had a spell with Lille earlier in his career.

Another of his former clubs, Sydney United, wanted to take him back to his homeland but the 28-year-old is set to opt for the Rams.

Sterjovski (pictured) was last night due to arrive in England from Turkey, where he has been playing for Genclerbirligi OFTAS.

He will discuss terms and undergo a medical before signing an 18-month deal for an undisclosed fee, believed to be in the region of £300,000.

Sterjovski, who can play as a striker or on the wing, failed to settle in Turkey after moving there from Swiss club FC Basel at the beginning of this season.

He scored three goals in 12 appearances, including 10 starts, before Jewell was alerted to his availability.

“St Etienne were in for him but he wants to come to the Premier League and join Derby County,” said Jewell.

“We know we are in a predicament at the moment but this club still has a major pulling force for some players.

“Hopefully, a deal can be done by the close of play (today) but he won't be available for this weekend, as he needs to fly back to Turkey to sort out his work permit.”

Sterjovski has 33 caps for Australia, scoring five goals, and featured against Brazil, Croatia and Italy at the last World Cup in 2006 as the Socceroos reached the last 16.

“I have been aware of him for a while,” said Jewell. “I watched him play in the World Cup a couple of years ago and (then-Australia manager) Guus Hiddink rated him highly.

“He can play on the wing or up front, has good energy, decent pace and can finish.

“I am sure he will add something to the team and should be a good signing.”

Sterjovski was educated at the Australian Institute of Sport and began his career with hometown club Woollongong Wolves.

He had a brief spell with Illawarra Lions before making his name at Sydney United, scoring 20 goals in 37 games over two years.

A season with Parramatta Power followed, where he netted 11 times in 31 appearances.

His form earned him a move to Lille, where he was largely used as a winger.

He made 91 appearances, scoring 15 goals, over four seasons before joining Basel on a free transfer in 2004.

Under the management of former Tottenham Hotspur boss Christian Gross, Sterjovski helped the club to the Swiss title in his first season, before helping them reach the quarter-finals of the UEFA Cup the following year, where they were eventually knocked out by Middlesbrough.

He moved to Genclerbirligi in the summer and scored on his debut after coming off the bench against Fenerbahce but never settled.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Hopefully it will be signed and sealed today, it's already too late for tomorrow though, which is a shame.
 

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RAMS MUST APPEAL FOR MILE
Posted on: Sat 12 Jan 2008

Derby County must win a work permit appeal if they are to be successful in their pursuit of midfielder Mile Sterjovski.

The 28-year-old is a target for boss Paul Jewell but doesn't meet the criteria for a work permit having not quite played enough games for Australia in recent times.

"Mile is over here and he is a good player who would improve us but beaurocracy is getting in the way," Jewell said.

"He has to go and apply for a work permit. We think he is worth one and the one game he missed for Australia was when they made the decision not to play any Europe-based players.

"But the people who make the decisions won't give us clearance so we have got to appeal.


This is typical for us :rolleyes:
 

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Discussion Starter #5
With our history of work permits, we won't get one, and he'll sign for Portsmouth next week...
 

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the signing is official, he was granted a work permit today

Derby have completed the signing of Australian international Mile Sterjovski after he was handed a work permit on appeal.
The Rams saw their move for the Genclerbirligi player held up after his initial permit application was rejected.

However, Derby instantly appealed the decision and, after a Home Office hearing, the player has been granted the permit to allow him to seal his move to Pride Park.

Rams boss Paul Jewell was delighted to be able to push through the move for Sterjovski.

Strong case
"I am delighted with the decision, although we always felt we had a strong case," said Jewell.

"Mile is an international player with Champions League and World Cup experience. "He will make a fantastic addition to the squad."

Derby are hoping to gain international clearance in time to allow him to make his debut against Preston in the FA Cup this weekend.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Good too see this one go through, hopefully he will play some part against Preston at the weekend.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
How long does it take to get ****ing international clearance!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
About bloody time...
 
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