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Sydney FC move to lock down Milos Ninkovic

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 1/03/2017 Warren Barnsley

Coach Graham Arnold rates him among the best he's seen in the A-League but Sydney FC will have to wait to lock down star playmaker Milos Ninkovic.

The Serb, who co-leads the league in goal assists in 2016-17, has put contract talks with the Sky Blues on hold until the end of the season.

Arnold said the league-leaders are keen to keep Ninkovic, who joined in mid-2015 before making 46 appearances with the club.

"We're working hard on his wife and his kids. Happy wife, happy life," Arnold told reporters on Wednesday.

"Ninko's in a good headspace at the moment. He's such a fantastic person. He's enjoying life here in Sydney. He loves the club. He can see what we do for him.

"We've had discussions and the discussions are that he wants to wait to the end of the season.

"He wants to just have one thing on his mind and that's winning."

The 32-year-old midfielder's lethal attacking combination with marquees Bobo and Filip Holosko has been a major contributor to Sydney's eight-point league lead with six games remaining.

Arnold said Ninkovic is among the top five players to grace the A-League.

"I think he's exceptional. It's a player ... you pay your money to go and watch," Arnold said.

"He does things on the football field that are top European quality."

Given that quality, the Sky Blues are under no illusions about the fight on their hands to keep him.

"You've got the salary cap to deal with as well," Arnold said.

"It's a tough gig at times trying to retain players. It's about players wanting to be here for the right reasons as well.

"When it gets down to the monetary side of things, then it's difficult."

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