Italian striker Filippo Inzaghi has been offered to Western Sydney Wanderers in a move certain to whet appetites in the west.
Initial discussions between Inzaghi's Australian-based representative Lou Nesci and Wanderers head coach Tony Popovic have taken place with the 38-year-old goal king's AC Milan contract expiring on Sunday and the master striker looking for continue his glittering career elsewhere.
Though offered a coaching role by the Rossoneri, Inzaghi, who signed off for Milan in May by coming off the bench to score the winner against Novara in an emotional San Siro farewell, has not lost the hunger and is seeking fresh frontiers.
The two-time UEFA Champions League winner, whose two goals against Liverpool sealed the trophy for Milan in 2007 in Athens, would be willing to come to Australia as a guest player for seven weeks or as a marquee signing.
"I am at a crossroads. I have been offered a coaching role but I still want to play. It's a dilemma," Inzaghi said last month.
Popovic has previously stated that the club was unlikely to have a marquee man on board in its debut season, but that could now change.
"From day one, my understanding is we won't have one, and that is not an issue at all," he said.
"Things might change, but at the moment we will be fitting players in under the salary cap."
Inzaghi, a 2006 World Cup winner, was linked with a A-League move last year but initial discussions with Melbourne Heart fizzled out amid concerns over the cost of bringing him out while he was simultaneously offered a contract extension at Milan.
"There were discussions with Melbourne Heart last year and it was
probably out of reach for their budget but then Milan re-signed him
anyway," Nesci explained.
But the goalposts have shifted substantially and WSW is now firmly on the radar of the second highest scorer across all European competitions, whose total of 70 is only beaten by Spanish great Raul's 77.
"Filippo is certainly keen to come to Australia and the Wanderers would seem to be a good fit, especially with a sizeable Italian community in that part of Sydney," Nesci said.
"I feel he would excite people in the west. He's still scoring goals and still fit to play at a very high level despite his age."
Inzaghi played just 18 times for Milan over the past two campaigns scoring five times, but his ability in front of goal remains in tact.
"I would personally love to see a player of his calibre in the A-League whether it is with the Wanderers or elsewhere and I think many fans would share that view," Nesci added.
"I feel he would give Wanderers extra appeal in terms of putting bums on seats.
"I realise some clubs might worry about his age after previous bad experiences with imports but I feel they should have no concerns on that score on this occasion.
"He has a curiosity to come to Australia and perform."
In what may be an omen, the Wanderers share the same colours as Milan – black, red and white – the difference being Milan's stripes are vertical while the A-League club's are horizontal.
Three-times Serie A winner Inzaghi joined Milan from Juventus in 2001 and scored 126 times in 300 appearances for the club.
The man dubbed 'Super Pippo' also netted 89 times in 165 appearances for Juventus and 25 in 57 for the Azzurri.
He also holds the record for the most Serie A hat-tricks with a tally of 10.
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