The rumour mill has gone into over drive after Sydney FC revealed they are chasing Alessandro Del Piero.
The rumour mill has gone into over drive after Sydney FC revealed they are chasing former Juventus striker Alessandro Del Piero as their marquee player for the upcoming Hyundai A-League season.
The 37-year-old Italian, who finished his 513-game career with Juventus in May, has yet to sign a new contract despite being linked with a host of clubs in the Middle East, China, the United States and Switzerland.
Del Piero could be on his way to Australia if Sydney FC CEO Tony Pignata has his way, although Swiss side FC Sion are also confident of securing the veteran's signature.
''We're going to go for it as hard as we can,'' Pignata told the Sydney Morning Herald.
''The board is 100 per cent behind this.
"We believe he's the perfect marquee player.
''We've already made an approach to his management team, and we're waiting to hear back.
"This is not a gimmick, it's deadly serious.
"To get a player of his stature would be huge, and we know that."
The departure of midfielder Nicky Carle to the United Arab Emirates on Tuesday has opened up a marquee player spot in Sydney's squad.
Del Piero, a World Cup winner with Italy in 2006, would arguably become the league's most high-profile marquee signing ahead of the likes of Robbie Fowler, Dwight Yorke and Harry Kewell.
But Sydney FC and Pignata could see their dreams of Del Piero in a sky blue shirt ruined before they really have a chance to develop as Sion believe they are close to signing the Italian, having already tempted former AC Milan midfielder Gennaro Gattuso to Switzerland.
"After the arrival of Gattuso, the club wants to try to do something special, first in Switzerland and then the Champions League," Sion Sporting Director Marco Degennaro told Sky Sports Italia.
"We expect to close tomorrow or the next day when he comes to a decision.
"What have we done to try to convince him?
"Gattuso has helped and then the proximity as Switzerland is close to Turin and can give him the opportunity to win without leaving Europe."
Pignata, however, remains confident Sydney FC can offer an attractive deal to Del Piero even if the Hyundai A-League club cannot compete financially with richer clubs around the world.
''I can't say whether we'll be able to compete with whatever other offers he may have in a financial sense, but I do know playing over the summer, in a city like Sydney, gives us a real selling point," Pignata said.