The 2018 FIFA World Cup™ might be the focus of football fans right now but there was plenty of transfer news for Hyundai A-League clubs on Tuesday.
Headlining a big day was the news that veteran striker Brendon Santalab was swapping Western Sydney Wanderers for Perth Glory, reuniting with coach Tony Popovic.
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Santalab was a fan favourite at ‘Wanderland’ in five seasons with the club and is their all-time leading scorer with 34 goals in 94 appearances in the Hyundai A-League.
While the Wanderers were hoping to keep the 35-year-old at the club in an administrative role, Santalab’s desire to play on for another year forced him to pursue other opportunities.
And Glory boss Popovic was delighted to throw the combative attacker a lifeline, handing Santalab a one-year deal in the west.
“The opportunity to work under Tony Popovic again was an opportunity too good to miss,” Santalab said.
“I’m looking forward to joining a team with so many fantastic players and meeting the clubs fans.”
Elsewhere, there was news on the player and coaching front at Melbourne City.
In the playing ranks, marquee attacker Marcin Budzinski has left the club after just one season in Melbourne.
The Pole had a contract for the 2018/19 Season but both parties agreed to mutually terminate the deal to allow Budzinski to continue his career elsewhere.
But Warren Joyce has strengthened his backroom staff with the addition of two experienced coaches.
Rado Vidosic has joined City as not only the club’s Technical Director but will also take over as head coach of City’s three-time Championship-winning Westfield W-League squad.
Meanwhile, ex-Socceroo gloveman and former Wanderers and Sydney FC assistant coach Zeljko Kalac is City’s new goalkeeper coach.
Across town at City’s fierce neighbours Melbourne Victory, two players left Kevin Muscat’s side to pursue other opportunities abroad.
Defender James Donachie, who was a key part of the club’s Championship-winning squad in 2017/18, has decided against signing a new deal, with reports he may move to a club in Korea.
While 19-year-old Pierce Waring is also believed to be pursuing opportunities abroad.