Crouch in the dark over A-League interest


Cult hero Peter Crouch knows nothing of purported interest from Australia, according to the 37-year-old striker's UK-based agent.

Speaking after reports surfaced that the former England man was an FFA marquee target for the A-League, the Stoke City forward’s representative Johnathan Barnett insisted there had been “no approach or contact from anybody in Australia”.

While that doesn’t preclude discussions taking place in the coming days, Barnett sounded a note of caution, declaring that the beanpole predator - a fan favourite at clubs like Portsmouth, Liverpool, Southampton and Tottenham Hotspur - was still under contract with the relegated Potters.

“Peter Crouch has a year left on his contract and is very happy at Stoke,” Barnett said.

“There have no approaches from Australia or discussions of any sort to my knowledge.”

Barnett would not be drawn on whether Crouch - who was unsuccessfully targeted as a guest player by Sydney FC in 2016 - would be open to a last career stop in the A-League.

Though he did say: “I believe he has a couple of good seasons left in him and is still an excellent player and also a great person.”

With Fernando Torres declining to bite on the FFA’s $3 million marquee fund to join Sydney FC as a replacement for departed Golden Boot Bobo, the Sky Blues and the FFA remain determined to bring some star power to the competition.

Crouch, according to former coach Harry Redknapp, would provide just that - even in his twilight years.

He scored five times in the Premier League for Stoke last season, and 2-metre tall stiltman has 22 goals for England in the bank.

Redknapp, who signed him for both Portsmouth and Tottenham, said: “He’s still got plenty to offer and would be a big asset for the A-League.

“He’s never a player who’s relied on his pace.

“You put the ball in the right areas and drop good quality deliveries up to him and he’s unplayable.

“He’d be fantastic to have in Australia,” added Redknapp, who had a brief spell as a consultant with Central Coast Mariners back in 2016 and coached Jordan against the Socceroos in the same year.

“I kept signing him and there was a reason for that.

“He has great feet, terrific awareness and a great attitude. He’s also a great guy.

“I think everybody would love him in Australia, but I could also see him having a great season at Stoke in the Championship.”