Bosnian-based defender Aleksandar Jovanovic, Brisbane Roar right-back Jake McGing and ex-Central Coast Mariners midfielder Liam Rose are all likely to be saddling up with the Macarthur Bulls in their debut A-League season.
The competition new boys, who have also been linked with fringe Socceroos keeper Adam Federici and current Central Coast gloveman Mark Birighitti, have been forced to delay confirming their roster due to the financial and scheduling nightmare unleashed by COVID-19.
Thus far only fringe Socceroos winger Tommy Oar has been publicly unveiled by the expansion club based out of Campbelltown in Sydney’s south-west.
However, it’s believed that one-time K League stopper Jovanovic, 30, has been locked in by coach Ante Milicic, along with Rose, 23, who joined NPL outfit Sydney United last year after a short spell in the Caucasus with FC Ararat-Armenia.
Ex-Mariner McGing, 25, joined the Roar last season after a 12-game stint with Polish outfit Wisla Plok, but has only managed six appearances so far in Robbie Fowler’s reign. He has a year remaining on his contract at Suncorp Stadium.
It’s understood Macarthur were close to concluding a deal to repatriate Wollongong native Federici, 35, before the coronavirus forced football into lockdown.
However, Birighitti’s name has also been mentioned, creating confusion over whether the Stoke City second choice shot-stopper would be returning home after 17 years in the UK.
Sixteen-cap Federici has previously been on the books of Reading and Bournemouth, and has made seven appearances for the Potters this season.
Sydney-born Jovanovic left for Europe in 2008 to join Serbian SuperLiga side Vojvodina.
He played over 100 times in the K League for Jeju United and counts Thailand and China among his other career stops.
He joined Bosnia's FK Zeljeznicar in January on a six-month deal and told The World Game last week of his desire to give the A-League a crack.
“I had opportunities to play in the A-League before but it was difficult to go there because I had a long-term contract with Jeju, which included a buyout fee,” he said.
“Clubs in Australia couldn’t afford it. It has always been on my mind to play in the A-League, especially so family and friends can watch me live.”
The World Game approached Macarthur for comment.