Burns confirms Chinese interest but Asian Cup his focus

Socceroo Nathan Burns has confirmed there is interest from Chinese clubs for his services, but the Wellington Phoenix striker won’t be rushing into making any decisions on his club future.

The 26-year-old, a second half substitute for the Socceroos in Thursday night’s 2-0 Asian Cup quarter final win over China in Brisbane, is catching the attention of cashed up Chinese Super League clubs after his standout season in the Hyundai A-League.

Shanghai Shenhua in particular have reportedly been interested in making Phoenix a large financial offer for the Socceroo.

After his ten-goal haul and his elevation to the national team, Burns says in-form players will always catch the eye of big clubs, but he’s in no hurry to talk turkey with other clubs. 

“Yeah, there’s a bit of interest. But it’s a long way off and this tournament is my main focus,” he told reporters in Brisbane after the game on Thursday night.

“If you’re playing well, there’s always going to be interest.

“What happens after the tournament is obviously a while away yet, but it’s good to have interest but my main focus is football.”

For a player who’s plied his trade in the Greek and K-Leagues as well as Australia’s Hyundai A-League at Adelaide United, challenging himself is a key driver in his decision-making.

“I’m always open for new challenges. But what’s meant to be is meant to be. I don’t look too far into it because football can change overnight.

“I’ll sit back and see what happens.”

Burns and the Socceroos arrived in Newcastle late on Friday to prepare for their Asian Cup semi final with either Japan or UAE next Tuesday night.

After a starting XI appearance against Korea Republic and a scintillating sub role against Kuwait in the opening group game, Burns dreams he’s can help take Australia to the Holy Grail of an Asian Cup title.

“Hopefully I can play my part. There’s a big stage set up for some heroes and with the next generation of Socceroos coming through hopefully some stars can rise and make it their tournament.”