Football 1 year ago

Sydney FC sift through 158 marquee CVs

  • Sydney FC sift through 158 marquee CVs

    SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - MAY 25: Sydney FC coach Graham Arnold shows his emotion during the AFC Asian Champions League match between Sydney FC and Shandong Luneng at Allianz Stadium on May 25, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Sydney FC have ramped up their hunt for a second marquee player, analysing more than 150 strikers in the hope one can lift the club back to the A-League's heights.

The Sky Blues have undergone radical surgery since finishing out of finals contention last season.

Twelve players have left to make way for new blood which coach Graham Arnold believes will bolster his defence, strengthen his midfield and give his attack the spark it's lacked since the 2014-15 grand-final run.

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But Arnold is still searching for that special player who can do what no man has since Austrian striker Marc Janko delivered 16 goals two seasons ago.

"Marquee will be a No.9 for sure," Arnold said.

"I made it clear to the players at the end of last season. It's just a matter of finding him, which will take time.

"Whether it's a big name or not, that's another thing.

"But most importantly it's a player who will come here and perform, and hopefully score 15 goals plus."

The challenge lies in the laborious process of sifting through a global haystack in the hope of stumbling over the next Bruno Fornaroli.

It's made shortlisting a difficult exercise.

"We've got a long list," Arnold said.

"Yesterday when we counted we had 158 put forward, so we've analysed and looked at 158 of them.

It's understood they include former Arsenal striker Nicklas Bendtner, who was released by Bundesliga side Wolfsburg in April, and ex-West Ham forward Carlton Cole - though Sydney isn't seriously looking at either.

Another marquee - to join winger Filip Holosko - is one of two significant signings the club is still to make, with Arnold revealing the second will be an attacker.

Off-contract captain and last season's Australian marquee Alex Brosque is also expected to sign a new deal under the salary cap.

Sydney have already added off-season quality to the squad in former Melbourne City defenders Alex Wilkinson and Michael Zullo, ex-Melbourne Victory goalkeeper Danny Vukovic and fringe Socceroos midfielder Josh Brillante.

A more familiar face is winger Bernie Ibini, who's back on a season-long loan from Belgian Pro League champions Club Brugge.

"I'm very happy with where we're at recruitment-wise," Arnold said.

"I want two quality players for every position so the players can push themselves to another level."

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