The FFA has vowed to take a more collaborative approach with Hyundai A-League clubs on the marquee-signing front. But who might be a perfect fit as a marquee for next season and beyond?
10: Francesco Totti (Roma)
He’ll be 40 next season. Too old? Maybe. But when you’ve scored 300 goals in 751 appearances since your first-team Roma debut in 1993, you bring goal-scoring intelligence the likes of which only his mate Del Piero brought to the A-League.
And Totti is a big enough name to attract fans across the league. He wouldn’t have to run. Just get him the ball and he’d do the rest. Currently has a contract with Giallorossi till the end of June but has fallen out of favour with coach Spalletti.
9: Zheng Zhi He'd get the Chinese fans excited in Australia; and now is the time to forge links with China through one of their most decorated players. At 35 the midfielder is a leader at Guangzhou Evergrande and spent two seasons in the EPL with Charlton, but could look at a new adventure. One of Asia's greatest players of the modern era.
8: Wesley Sneijder Remains at Galatasaray despite their two-season Europe ban. And at just 31 the Dutchman, who’s racked up over 100 caps for the Orangje, would have a huge impact in the A-League. Could JVS give him a call?
7: Luca Toni Ageless Italian goal-scoring poacher of the highest quality who, in the twilight of his career, has banged in better than a goal every two games at Verona.
Has had more clubs than most (including Bayern Munich and Juventus) so clearly doesn’t mind moving. Current age 38.
6: Lee Chung-yong Squad player at Crystal Palace. Has done well in EPL but at 27, he'd be a regular - and a star - in the A-League, particularly at a club in the Asian Champions League.
Would also attract South Korean fans to the terraces and at his age would not have a problem with the physical demands.
5: Rafael van der Vaart At 33, he could still do a fabulous job. The former EPL midfielder is currently with Betis in Spain but hasn’t made a huge impact in La Liga and the former Real Madrid man is said to be fielding offers around the world including Brazil.
4: Tim Cahill Now is the time. With a short-term deal at his new club Hangzhou Greentown ending mid-year, it’s about time we brought Timmy home. Would be huge for the league and who’d bet against him scoring a hatful?
3: Keisuke Honda At 29 would be an absolutely massive acquisition. Would be very very tough to get but he is the kind of player who would tick every box. He's playing regularly for Milan but then is the kind of character who would consider something a little different. If not next season then perhaps the following season or two?
2: Yasuhito Endo At 36 he is still very much good enough to play at Gamba Osaka (in Victory's ACL group). The playmaker brings that sublime technical approach and intelligence. Has never played outside of Japan. Surely a season in the A-League would be a great way to finish his final years of a fantastic career. And as we know with Shinji Ono, such a signing would attract Japanese fans to the terraces and more Japanese media to the league. Shinji, can you call the great man?
1: Michael Carrick The big drawcard for the 34-year-old is that he’s been a regular visitor to Australia over the years through him and his family’s friendship with Perth Glory’s Richard Garcia (the pair played together at West Ham many years ago).
Carrick has a great attitude and would do a fabulous job on the park while attracting hordes of United fans. And he’d earn a two-year deal at least in Australia, rather than United’s one-year extension rule for over 30s players. Rich, over to you...