Ibrahimovic and Torres in FFA marquee sights


Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Fernando Torres could grace the A-League this season with Football Federation Australia chiefs set to reignite their marquee player hunt in the coming months.

A-League boss Greg O'Rourke named the superstar duo as potential top marquee signing targets for the January transfer window with the FFA to chase their signatures if they were to become available. 

O'Rourke told News Corp that Torres was exceptionally close to signing with an A-League side several months ago, before inking a deal with J-League side Sagan Tosun. 

However, Torres could once again become available with Tosun currently in a relegation battle.

A drop into the Japanese second division could potentially trigger a clause which could allow the former Chelsea, Liverpool and Atletico Madrid star to walk in December.

Ibrahimovic meanwhile, is on a two-year deal with MLS club LA Galaxy but has hinted he will look elsewhere at the end of this campaign.

Star Japan attacker Keisuke Honda will be the headline act this A-League season, starting on Friday, after he signed a marquee deal with Melbourne Victory.

Sweden 2018 FIFA World Cup forward Ola Toivonen, Dutch maestro Siem De Jong and former Manchester United defender Richie De Laet will be Honda's supporting cast in helping lift the profile of the A-League in 2018.

However, that list could have been longer with Andres Iniesta, Mathieu Flamini, Obafemi Martins and Michael Essien all spurning offers to sign with an Australian club.

Around $1 million dollars of the Fox Sports' funded A-League and W-League marquee fund could remain for clubs to sign a major star, with a portion used to entice Honda to Victory and Sam Kerr's return to Perth Glory.

While an A-League club could still make a last-ditch attempt to bring in a marquee player, January appears a more likely time for a potential new batch of big-name arrivals.

“We’ll be focusing most of our efforts on the January transfer window. That will require us revisiting a few names we’ve gone after before and were unsuccessful with,’’ O’Rourke told the Herald-Sun.

“We were really close to landing Fernando Torres and we will again chase players like him and Zlatan if they become available.

“The marquee fund is set up $3 million, we’ve secured two marquees — Honda and Sam Kerr, so it still leaves a reasonable amount of money, circa $1 million for us to continue to look for marquees.

“We’re currently still working with one club who may be able to get a marquee now as it is an uncontracted player. It’s in very early stages.

“If anyone comes in at the last minute with the right footballing pedigree we would still look at it.”