Three spots left at GCU

Coach Miron Bleiberg has declared open season on the remaining three vacancies left in Gold Coast United's squad for the coming season.

Coach Miron Bleiberg has declared open season on the remaining three vacancies left in Gold Coast United's squad for the coming season.

United have signed 19 players to date and will cap their squad at 22, leaving space for two more Australian players and one final foreigner to cap off their overseas contingent of American striker Alex Smith, Ivorian left-back Adama Traore, Brazilian midfielder Robson and experienced Dutchman Paul Beekmans.

Seeing no glaring holes left in his squad after signing Smith, Beekmans and young defender Dylan McGowan, Bleiberg said the three players who simply impressed him the most will win contracts.

"We've got four weeks to look at trialists. Another batch will come next week. We shall pick the best two or three," he said.

"I think we're quite well-balanced but I'd prefer to sign another defender rather than another attacker. We have a lot of young, quick attackers and we could do with some more experience in defence."

"(The signings) will be based on quality. It's up to me as a coach to mould this quality to assist them."

But much hinges on the decision of German import Peter Perchtold, who is still yet to commit to another term on the Glitter Strip after his brief 10-match guest contract at the end of last season.

United could cut their losses and sever all ties with Perchtold and spend their last remaining visa spot elsewhere, with defensive midfielder Beekmans arguably covering the anchor position if the former FC Nurnberg player stays in Germany.

There still remains an army of trialists on the Glitter Strip and the latest to stand out is Spanish striker Dani Sanchez, who nailed a double in Gold Coast's 7-0 friendly win over the Tweed Valley Kings on Tuesday night.

Playing in a slightly more withdrawn role, Sanchez' second goal - a long-range screamer that looped expertly over the opposition goalkeeper's head - typified his exquisite technical ability.

The 26-year-old has just been released from Scottish side Inverness Caledonian Thistle, who are managed by ex-Sydney FC coach Terry Butcher.

Though there are still over three months until the new season kicks off, the clock is ticking on Perchtold. The rest of United's squad will be together next week when Beekmans touches down and Bleiberg said he will not sit idly by in wait of Perchtold.

"I want to make the decision sooner rather than later. We saw Dani Sanchez but we're still talking with a few people in Europe. We shall see," he said.

"We're trying to solve it ASAP. Peter is still in the picture but if he still can't make his decision and meanwhile I find someone else, I won't wait."

Bleiberg said he would leave the 23rd and final position open in case he needs to make a mid-season emergency signing.