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Is it time to sell Tim Cahill?

The Australian midfielder is contemplating playing for Russia 2018, can the Red Bulls' afford it?

Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

Tim Cahill is a 35 year old midfielder for the New York Red Bulls. He arrived in New York in 2012 during a summer transfer with Everton of the English Premiere League. In his two and a half years for New York, Cahill has featured in 72 games in all competitions and put away 16 goals. He finished the 2013 season with a team high 11 during the regular season, and 12 overall.

During the last two years, Tim Cahill has also helped Australia reach the 2010 World Cup and was nominated for 2014 Puskas Award for best goal for his volley against the Netherlands. He has appeared in 16 matches for the Socceroos between 2013 and 2014, and netted 10 goals. At the age of 35, most players look at retiring from international play, but not Cahill. In an interview with the Australian Associated Press, Cahill made it clear that he's looking to extend his international career, with his next move (he currently has a year left with the Red Bulls) focused on that.

I've gone to the MLS because that allows me to play internationally. The next decision that I make will still allow me to play internationally. But I average 30 or 40 games every season since I was 17 years old and nothing's changed. So I'd like to say that the next contract I sign will be two to three years minimum - with a vision.

Cahill is already set to feature for Australia in the 2015 Asian Cup, which will be held next month in his home country, and it's clear that his priority seems to be more focused on Australia than his club team. While he flourished for the Socceroos in 2014, he wasn't so great for the Red Bulls. He appeared in 29 total matches (24 regular season, 5 playoffs), and managed only 3 goals. At times he looked lost playing in the midfield, and Petke dropped him from the Starting XI towards the end of the season.

Cahill has been linked before with moves away from the Red Bulls, but there was a shocking statement made by Cahill that might signal interest is higher than has been thought. Emphasis on the below quote is mine.

"The future's bright," Cahill said. "I've got another year left on my New York Red Bulls contract. The main feeling for me is every time I'm at a club, I like to be there for a long time. To be totally honest, I could have gone back to the Premier League on loan after the World Cup and I decided to stay with Red Bulls for the remainder of the season and still (have) options to go back to the Premier League if it's the right one for me - and then deciding what's best for international football afterwards as well. So when you put everything into one, the decision I make will be a methodical one, like I've always made it. It will take a month or so but, when it does, I think people will be quietly impressed with what I'm trying to do."

It seems that Cahill has been exploring his options, which is only natural for a player as regarded as him. However, the implication here seems to be that he is seriously considering those options, and maybe even wishes to leave this year. If this is true, the question has to be asked, is it time to sell Tim Cahill?

Cahill made a guaranteed $3.625 million in 2014 according to the MLS Player's Union, with the maximum salary charge for a DP set at 387,500. That's not a small chuck of cap space, and it doesn't help that the Red Bull organization is footing the estimated remaining $3,237,500. After his 2014 World Cup performance, the stock is high on Cahill. He's obviously open to any situation where he can continue playing internationally, and MLS is not schedule friendly for an national team player given that not every FIFA break is observed. The Red Bulls could probably stand to make out in a deal by selling Cahill, either in January or the summer window, while he can still provide value in return before ending his contract, leaving the Red Bulls for free. It's a tough decision as Cahill still has gas left in the tank, but with his commitment to Australia's national team, is he worth it?

Should the Red Bulls look to unload Cahill? Let us know in the comments.