Arnold rebuffs Pirlo but A-League still a chance

Leading Australian-based agent Lou Sticca remains hopeful of persuading Italian superstar Andrea Pirlo to play in the Hyundai A-League, though Sydney FC have ruled out a move for the midfielder.

Sticca is in Italy speaking with Pirlo’s representatives hoping to clinch what would be the biggest signing in the history of the league, eclipsing even that of Alessandro Del Piero who spent two years with Sydney FC. 

World Cup-winning midfielder Pirlo played for Juventus in Saturday's UEFA Champions League final, and left the field in tears after a 3-1 defeat to Barcelona.

The 36-year-old has one year left to run on his contract at Juve, and he denied that his show of emotion after the loss to Barca was a farewell.

However Sydney FC coach Graham Arnold ruled out a move for Pirlo.

“My preference when it comes to international marquees is to sign an attacking player not a midfielder,” he told SBS online.

“I have not had any contact from an agent [regarding Pirlo] and have not heard anything about him coming to Australia.”

Pirlo has also been linked with a move to MLS to join former Milan team-mate Kaka.

However Sticca, who also brought Del Piero to Sydney, has other Hyundai A-League clubs who would be tempted to bring in such a star of world football.

“My project in Italy is clear: if Andrea decides to leave Italy for other markets and leagues only then will I move in this case," Sticca reportedly told Tutto Mercato online. 

“I’m here to plant the seed to get him to go to Australia. I have some interested clubs who have given the mandates, but I clearly don’t want to name them.

"My plan is simple: it’s Andrea or nothing. But there are also others working besides me.

"Del Piero, for Australian football, was the biggest, but Andrea could be bigger still.”