SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - OCTOBER 10: Aaron Mooy of Australia controls the ball during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Asian Playoff match between the Australian Socceroos and Syria at ANZ Stadium on October 10, 2017 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - OCTOBER 10: Aaron Mooy of Australia controls the ball during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Asian Playoff match between the Australian Socceroos and Syria at ANZ Stadium on October 10, 2017 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)

Plot thickens in Socceroos’ Mooy squabble

Huddersfield Town boss David Wagner has slapped down the Socceroos' powerplay to allow Aaron Mooy to play in next month's Asian Cup.

The injured midfield maestro was on Thursday named in Graham Arnold's 23-man Socceroos squad for the Asian Cup, despite Huddersfield declaring weeks ago that a serious knee injury would keep him out of action until February.

Mooy has been in fine form in the English Premier League this season, but suffered a tear to the medial collateral ligament in his right knee earlier this month.

Arnold confirmed on Thursday the Socceroos have sent their own independent medical staff to Britain to get a second opinion on Mooy's knee, in the hope that they can overrule Huddersfield's refusal to release him to international duties.

"He wants to play the Asian Cup. He will be looked at tomorrow (Friday) and then we will make the next decision from there," Arnold said.

"He believes that he will be ready, and so do we, and there's a process we have to go through and we'll do that."

Wagner has now responded to Arnold's powerplay by re-stating his club's adamant position that Mooy will not travel to the United Arab Emirates for the Asian Cup.

He said his team "have no secrets" around Mooy's diagnosis and recovery.

"Australia have asked for a second opinion, which we absolutely respect," Wagner said.

"They come over (on Friday) and will make further investigations (on Saturday) - and this is what I expect - to get confirmed what we already said 10 days ago.

"It's all about Aaron Mooy and his long-term career, so we will and he will rush nothing. He has to make sure everything heals properly.

"He can't and we can't afford that he has further problems with his knee in the future. It's all about his long-term future." Socceroos boss Arnold has said he expects his side to win every game at the Asian Cup, which starts on January 6 in the UAE.

Mooy has been included in Arnold's squad in the hope that the midfielder could play some part later in the tournament, with the final scheduled for February 1 at the Zayed Sports City Stadium.

"What I know is that Aaron is keen that he is 100 per cent fit, that he makes sure his rehabilitation continues like it has so far and won't have further issues with his knee," Wagner added.

 

Those knees look fine.
Those knees look fine.

"This is what I know and this is what he said to me and this is the only truth. If this means he plays in the Asian Cup, OK, then he plays in the Asian Cup.

"If it means he will not play, he will not play. If it means he will not play for us until February or whatever, then this is the most important thing, that he recovers and will be back fully fit.

"At the minute I have a clear answer, a clear expectation from our medical department and this means he will be out and does his rehabilitation with us as all the other players have."

Australia are already missing Celtic striker Daniel Arzani, who was ruled for the rest of the season last month after surgery on a knee injury.

Celtic midfielder Tom Rogic has also been under an injury could, but he has been declared fit and will be on the plane to the United Arab Emirates for the January-February tournament.

Three A-League players - Josh Risdon, Chris Ikonomidis and Rhyan Grant - will travel to the United Arab Emirates, with Arnold overlooking local flyers Terry Antonis, Craig Goodwin and James Troisi.

There's was also no place for long-term Socceroos striker Tomi Juric, who has struggled for goals at club side Luzern.

Under Arnold, the Socceroos are seeking to retain the trophy Ange Postecolgou's side won on home soil in 2015.

Just eight players have survived from that squad: goalkeepers Mat Ryan and Mitch Langerak, Aziz Behich, Trent Sainsbury, Mat Leckie, player of the tournament Massimo Luongo, Robbie Kruse and newly-blooded skipper Mark Milligan. There are also seven changes from the World Cup squad in June, including a first senior tournament for Mustafa Amini, Martin Boyle and Awer Mabil.

- with AAP, AFP