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Ins and outs of A-League transfer window

AAP logoAAP 2/01/2017 Emma Kemp

RUMOURS, DEMANDS AND DONE DEALS OF THE A-LEAGUE JANUARY TRANSFER WINDOW

ADELAIDE UNITED: The Reds have salary-cap room for at least three players, including an import, after Italian Iacopo La Rocca earned Australian residency. And despite their strong squad on paper they'll be looking to replenish stocks on each line in a bid to dig themselves out of last place and compete in the Asian Champions League. The club may also have to plan for the future given a report Melbourne City are targeting long-serving captain Eugene Galekovic, Sergio Cirio, Isaias and Dylan McGowan for next season.

BRISBANE ROAR: All eyes are on Jamie Maclaren, who's been linked with a move to everywhere from Western Sydney to Stoke City since his agent described the Roar's initial contract offer "disgusting". There's no question John Aloisi doesn't want to lose his off-contract star striker. Question is, does he take a transfer fee now or keep him for the title push and risk losing him for free in June? Defender Luke DeVere is also uncertain about his future amid rumours of overseas interest.

CENTRAL COAST MARINERS: Owner Mike Charlesworth gave a strong indication last week the Mariners will dip into the market, publicly encouraging coach Paul Okon and chief executive Shaun Mielekamp to reinforce the struggling young squad if the "right opportunity" presents itself. Defence is the most desperate area, with a league-high 28 goals conceded and experienced centre-back Jacques Faty constantly injured. Or will another Luis Garcia-style guest player touch wow Gosford?

MELBOURNE CITY: City were the biggest movers of the last January transfer window and traditionally aren't afraid to get busy. City have been coy on this year's plans as the star-studded side look to steady a wobble in their season. Will Connor Chapman depart out of frustration at slipping down the pecking order below teenager Ruon Tongyik?

MELBOURNE VICTORY: Coach Kevin Muscat is happy with his pacesetting squad but won't rule anything out. Victory have room on their roster but little salary-cap space, hence the recent focus on recruiting a guest player. FFA blocked a bid to sign former Italy international Alessandro Diamanti while ex-Chelsea star Michael Essien backed out of joining at the 11th hour. Right-back Jason Geria has reportedly attracted interest from a German Bundesliga club, and Daniel Georgievski's limited game time may have him agitating for a move.

NEWCASTLE JETS: Coach Mark Jones has made no secret of the fact he wants new blood and he'll have up to $240,000 to play with as the club continues its finals push. Radovan Pavicevic's exit and the potential termination of Mitch Cooper's contract will open up space. Jones wants Thailand-based forward Mark Bridge but can't afford him while Shane Smeltz was on the radar before the All White signed with Wellington. With a full cohort of visa players any new recruit must be an Australian, with South-East Asia shaping as the most likely market outside the A-League.

PERTH GLORY: Coach Kenny Lowe is cagey about any potential window movements - and that's before Rhys Williams is mentioned. Lowe won't give an inch on the future of his star defender despite leaving him out of the squad for the last three games. Word is the 28-year-old has played his last game for Perth and is set to be granted a release after a few short months. Sydney FC are publicly interested, however Williams is also believed to have options in Asia. Off-contract right-back Josh Risdon is reportedly keen on a move to Belgium despite interest from numerous A-League rivals.

SYDNEY FC: Graham Arnold is content with his high-flying roster but is wary Sydney could become victims of their own success, with his players set to attract the most overseas interest. Leading defender Matt Jurman could be headed for South Korea after reportedly agreeing terms with K-League outfit Suwon Bluewings, meaning Arnold will likely step up his pursuit of wantaway Perth centre-back Rhys Williams. All up, 13 players are coming off contract and in-form right-back Rhyan Grant is apparently in the sights of an unnamed Scandinavian club.

WELLINGTON PHOENIX: It's unclear what new permanent co-coaches Chris Greenacre and Des Buckingham have planned but they already have a key piece of the puzzle in striker Shane Smeltz. The well-travelled 35-year-old re-signed with his former club two weeks ago and has been waiting for the window to open so he can begin his quest to resurrect the Phoenix from the doldrums of a poor and disrupted season.

WESTERN SYDNEY WANDERERS: The window could be make or break for the Wanderers, who gravely need a striker to reignite their static attack with an Asian Champions League campaign looming. Ex-skipper Nikolai Topor-Stanley's spot is available but Popovic is highly restricted given his five visa spots are filled. The club were furious a recent bid to sign former Arsenal striker Eduardo da Silva as a guest marquee was rejected by FFA, and an attempt to lure former frontman Mark Bridge home from Thailand now appears unlikely. Already signed are former Sydney FC pair Terry Antonis (loan) and Vedran Janjetovic while fellow goalkeeper Andrew Redmayne has left for the Sky Blues. Injury-prone striker Eli Babalj is also trialling.

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