Sky Blues step up Carney pursuit

Sydney FC coach Graham Arnold remains hopeful he’ll be able to secure David Carney from Newcastle Jets before the January transfer window closes on Tuesday.

The Sky Blues are desperate to add another attacking player to their roster for the rest of the campaign, with Arnold confirming his interest in Carney after Saturday night’s 3-1 loss to Brisbane Roar.

MATCH REPORT: Roar weather Sky Blues at rain sodden Allianz

“For me he’s the best player at Newcastle,” Arnold told reporters afterwards.

“He gives a lot of attacking variety and he can play in a number of positions. We’re interested in him but still nothing is going on at the moment.

“I’ve had a chat to [Jets coach] Scotty Miller and we’ve been in touch with Newcastle but we’re still waiting to hear.”

Adding further intrigue to the situation is that Carney was left out of the Jets squad which travelled to Adelaide for Sunday’s clash with the Reds.

NEWS: Carney omitted from Adelaide encounter

Sydney FC

The 32-year-old is off-contract at the end of the season and with a new deal with the Jets unlikely to eventuate, it’s understood he wants a return to Sydney to be a part of their Asian Champions League campaign.

There has been reports Sydney would need to give the Jets two players for Carney in a potential swap deal.

“We haven’t gone that far yet. If there is a player swap then the player here has to want to go up to Newcastle,” Arnold said.

“We can’t force them [to go]. We’ll see what happens.”

Of more concern for Arnold is lifting his side’s form after they were sunk by a resurgent Roar at a rain-soaked Allianz Stadium.

The Sky Blues were backing up just four days after their Australia Day defeat to Melbourne Victory, with Arnold admitting he learned which of his players can back up well on short turnarounds with the club’s Champions League campaign looming.

"What I learnt today is, with Asian Champions League coming up, which players can back up after short turnarounds,” the Sky Blues boss said.

"Tonight was flat, from the first minute to the last. We looked heavy legged. The pitch obviously was soft and heavy on the legs.

"At the end of the day, we got hit by a counter-attack on two occasions in the second half, but probably five occasions - they didn't score the other three. That's a lack of legs to get back and recover.

Arnold admitted the Sky Blues were badly missing Alex Brosque in attack, with the skipper unlikely to return for Friday night’s trip to Adelaide United.