Sydney FC has launched an audacious bid to bring rising star Tom Rogic back to the A-League as its hierarchy seeks to add the glamour factor to revive its flagging season.
The club's multi-millionaire owner David Traktovenko has personally sanctioned the approach with Rogic lined up to replace Australia veteran Brett Emerton as the club's Australian marquee.
Russian banker Traktovenko is an avowed fan of Australian football’s most glittering young asset, as is Sky Blues chairman Scott Barlow, and the club is willing to pay out the final four months of 34-year-old Emerton's contract to pave the way for a sensational return to the competition for Celtic's attacking midfielder.
Reliable sources close to Sydney FC have confirmed that 21-year-old Rogic has been offered a multi-year deal but it is not yet known whether Celtic has been approached to discuss a transfer fee for the youngster who signed a four-and-half year deal at Parkhead a year ago but has not managed to garner the game time needed to nail down a 2014 FIFA World Cup spot.
Traktovenko wants to see Rogic operate in tandem with Italian maestro Alessandro Del Piero, as he seeks to put the glitter and glamour back into the club which hasn't won the competition since 2010.
With crosstown rival Western Sydney Wanderers also set to lose its foreign star Shinji Ono at the end of the season, Sydney's bosses are keen to show it is the club with the boldest vision in the divided city in a manoeuvre sure to excite its fans.
With Rogic's proposed re-union with former Central Coast Mariners boss Graham Arnold at J.League side Vegalta Sendai now officially off the table, the way is clear for a move to the Sky Blues during this transfer window as Sydney prepares to pay the seven figure wages that will probably be required to bring him home.
Rogic's advisors refused to comment when contacted by The World Game on Tuesday night.
Emerton has on-going back issues and has struggled to recapture the form of his pomp since his arrival at the club from Blackburn Rovers as its Australian marquee in August 2011 on a three-year deal.
And the club sees Rogic as the X-factor capture who could turn its year around - Sydney languishes in seventh spot, 11 points off leader Brisbane Roar.
With the FIFA World Cup just five months away, Rogic is committed to playing regular football to cement his spot on the plane to Brazil having made just 14 appearances and only five starts in 12 months for the Hoops.
But he remains a hot property who showed his quality off the bench when he picked up his eighth cap as Australia beat Costa Rica 1-0 in Sydney last November.
He has been reluctant until now to consider leaving Celtic but with the FIFA World Cup an enticing lure, a marquee move to Sydney could be just the boost both he - and the club - need in a vital year for both.
The news is likely to come as a shock to Emerton, who was substituted in the 1-0 derby loss to the Wanderers last Saturday, and could possibly spell the end of a distinguished career which has brought him 94 caps for his country, two FIFA World Cup finals appearances and the armband as the Olyroos skipper at the 2000 Olympic Games.
He also made 247 appearances for Blackburn Rovers during eight seasons and has amassed 57 games for the Sky Blues.
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