SYDNEY - Western Sydney is in no rush to extend Shinji Ono's contract despite the threat of losing the Japanese star to a rival A-League club at the end of the season.
Ono, on a one-year deal with the Wanderers, once again showcased his world- class skill in scoring a sensational double in Tuesday's 2-1 win over Melbourne Victory, which lifted the A-League newcomers into third spot on the ladder.
The 33-year-old midfielder has expressed an interest in staying in Australia, but Wanderers executive chairman Lyall Gorman said there was no urgency in attempting to secure his signature.
"We don't take any player for granted but he's very committed to our club," Gorman said yesterday. "He loves this club, he loves the environment, he loves the playing staff, he's very committed.
"So we don't feel any pressure to rush things with him because of other clubs."
The Wanderers have announced the retention of skipper Michael Beauchamp, keeper Ante Covic and Croatian midfielder Mateo Poljak in the past week. Gorman said staff had held "informal talks" with Ono but would only begin proper negotiations after their blockbuster clash with table-toppers Central Coast on Sunday.
"This club is not built around Shinji Ono," Gorman said.
"So we'll get Sunday out of the way and we'll bunker down and start to advance talks with a raft of players including Shinji next week."
A veteran of three World Cups, Ono is showing flashes of the form that made him Asian player of the year in 2002 and looks to be genuinely enjoying his football.
His wife Chieko and two young children, who live in Japan, are currently in Sydney for an extended period - a factor Gorman believes is adding to Ono's blistering form.