James Troisi will be wearing the red and black of Western Sydney Wanderers this season, if coach Carl Robinson gets his way.
The former Wales international is a long-time admirer of the ex-Socceroos playmaker, and both Wanderers and Brisbane Roar approached Adelaide United last month to ascertain whether they would be prepared to release the 32-year-old from the final year of his contract.
Wanderers, who have yet to replace Mitch Duke and Pirmin Schwegler, have enough room in the cap to finance Troisi’s capture, but are also looking at several other options.
However Reds director of football Bruce Djite appears unwilling to sanction the exit of a key asset.
“James is a required player and that hasn’t changed,” Djite said. “There were enquiries from a couple of clubs in November and we told them he wasn’t available.”
Should Robinson provoke a change of heart and net Troisi, it would be the culmination of a pursuit which began during his five years in charge of Vancouver Whitecaps.
He was unsuccessful back then and Troisi was subsequently linked with Newcastle Jets during Robinson’s brief tenure there.
Robinson is looking to add experience and creativity to his squad ahead of the December 27 A-League kick-off against near neighbours Macarthur FC, with Wanderers ironically losing a pre-season friendly 2-0 to the Reds in Sydney on Monday.
Troisi, nursing a minor injury, didn’t feature in that match.
It’s been documented that Troisi - who joined hometown team Adelaide a year back from Melbourne Victory - is looking to move on.
The Reds are required to bump up his wages this season in a back-ended deal which could be worth up to $350,000 in 2020-2021.
With finances critical at several A-League clubs, and Adelaide are no exception, that financial imperative might ultimately be enough to persuade the hierarchy to release him.
With his 17 appearances across all competitions last season yielding a single goal, Troisi didn’t make the impact his ability promised in his first season at Coopers Stadium.
But with talent thin on the ground across the competition, Adelaide would struggle to replace him so close to their December 28 season-opener against Western United.
The Wanderers were contacted for comment.