Legendary Greek defender Traianos Dellas looks to have pipped Ufuk Talay to fill the Melbourne Victory coaching void, and spearhead the resurgence bid of the ailing A-League giants next season.
A talismanic figure for the Ethniki as they captured glory at Euro 2004, Dellas, 44, has been off the coaching grid for 14 months, having departed Greek Super League side Panetolikos for unspecified personal reasons with the club placed sixth on the ladder at the back end of last season.
The three-time AEK Athens player also guided his boyhood team to back-to-back promotions back to the top division before exiting in 2015 to join Super League outfit Atromitos prior to moving on to Panetolikos at the beginning of 2018.
His impending appointment will no doubt meet with the approval of Melbourne’s burgeoning Greek community.
Reports first surfaced in the Greek media a week ago of Victory’s offer to bring Dellas out of his sabbatical and back into the mainstream, with his contract believed to be worth almost $1 million a season.
Talay, who has a year left on his Wellington Phoenix contract, was also a prime candidate, though there were concerns over how difficult it would be to extricate him from the final year of his Nix contract.
A two-time Greek Cup winner with AEK, the centre-back also had spells at Sheffield United, Perugia and Roma during a 19-year professional career.