Football: Wellington Phoenix coach Ufuk Talay dismisses link to A-League strugglers Melbourne Victory

Wellington Phoenix coach Ufuk Talay has dismissed reports linking him with a move to A-League strugglers Melbourne Victory.

The tournament giants sit rooted to the bottom of the table, with Talay tipped by Australian football website FTBL to take over from next season.

Talay is off contract with the Phoenix at the end of the season and hasn't yet announced a decision about his future plans.

He believes such a decision can wait and shuts down links with Saturday's opposition as "speculation", as the Phoenix push for a home final.

"I've had no discussions with anybody at this stage," he said. "It's just an article that's been thrown out there.

"I don't think there's a need to, at this stage... and hopefully, this isn't our last game at Wellington. Hopefully, we get a good result against Victory that pushes us forward.

"The aim is to try and finish in the top four, so we can play a home final. We've got another home game up in Auckland and hopefully, all the results go well for us.

"We're pushing towards getting a home final, so hopefully, it's not our last game in Wellington."

Talay interviewed for the vacant All Whites job, but has since withdrawn his interest, after his initial application was unsuccessful.

While the position has yet to be filled, he is no longer keen on the role and doesn't feel the need to clarify his future yet.

"We haven't hit that yet, so we'll find out soon," Talay said. "There's no pressure from the club at this stage on me to do that, but I'm sure there will be.

"That's all in the past."

Phoenix captain Alex Rufer
Phoenix captain Alex Rufer. Photo credit: Getty Images

While Talay could join several Phoenix players on their way out after this season, he lauds captain Alex Rufer's commitment to the club.

Rufer, 26, has signed a three-year extension with the Phoenix, amid the confirmed departures of fellow midfielders Steven Urgakovic and Clayton Lewis.

"I think it's very important to, with Stevie going and Clay going, we need a No.6 and Rufes has done a fantastic job coming back in from his injury," Talay said.

"He's the captain of the side, I think he's a very important player for Wellington Phoenix, and it's great he's shown some loyalty and signed on for a long time with the club.

"He's been here a lot longer than I have, and he's had ups and downs with injuries, but he's always come through it, so he's mentally tough. I think he's a fantastic acquisition for the club."