Cahill on Red Bulls future: “If I want to stay, I will stay”

IMAGE, MATT KREMKAU FOR EMPIRE OF SOCCER

Tim Cahill’s status as a New York Red Bull player continues to be up in the air, especially following his short interview with Fox Sports Australia.

Fresh off of an African Safari vacation with his family, the Red Bulls’ Designated Player was confronted with questions over his club status, particularly in light of an Australian report earlier this year claiming New York were set to cut Cahill at season’s end.

“They, let me go?” Cahill said with a laugh, hand on his forehead. “For me, it’s easy. I have loads of options but if I want to stay, I will stay.

“I only join a club with a vision,” he continued. “And if the vision is fulfilled, then I’ll fulfill it. If it’s not, then I will fulfill it somewhere else.”

Cahill’s statement is hardly a ringing endorsement for a return, further indicating tensions may still exist in both camps. The Australian legend had a fall from grace at the club level this year, butting heads with the technical staff over playing time and his commitments on the international level. That came to a boil late in the year as Cahill took his gripes to the media in a memorable display of discontent.

On the other side, Red Bull have remained mostly quiet about their DP, but did put he was left unprotected by the club in the expansion draft, leading many to conclude problems continue to prevail amongst club and player.

While his response may not give the impression of a player set to return, Cahill softened his message and praised the club in his subsequent statements.

“It’s a great club, great setup, great people and we are on great terms,” he said. “But at the end of the day for me, it is more about my family and what’s good for international football.”

He went on to tell the Fox Sports team, “We’ve won a trophy, it’s been amazing, stadiums have been full, we’ve made a massive impact on New York …. So my thing is vision. I always like long-term association and I don’t like short-term.”

Cahill has a year remaining on his contract, but his future is as murky as ever.  On the one hand, he comes off flabbergasted at the mere mention of the club cutting him, fighting the narrative to make clear that it is his decision whether to move on or not.  On the other, he goes to painstaking lengths to praise the club and speak of a long-term association.

If he were to return, Cahill would have the opportunity to finally find his spot at striker; a luxury that has been yanked from him in New York what with the production of Thierry Henry and Bradley Wright-Phillips.  If he doesn’t, options are open, though he rules out a move towards the A-League.