Liverpool made late bid to hijack transfer of Juventus legend Alessandro Del Piero to Sydney FC
Sydney FC have announced the signing of Juventus legend Alessandro Del Piero on a two-year deal, in what was described as a 'major coup' for the Australian club.
Yet there are claims that to complete the signing of the 37-year-old former Italy international, a late bid from Liverpool had to be fought off.
The Anfield club are in desperate need of attacking reinforcements after the club admitted earlier this week it had been a mistake to allow Andy Carroll to leave on loan in light of the failure to bring in a new striker.
Liverpool had been linked with Michael Owen, who last night joined Stoke, and it would appear they also made an attempt to sign Del Piero according to Sydney FC chief executive Tony Pignata.
"Liverpool have come in - and they're a big club, there's no denying that," Pignata told Fox Sports Australia before today's announcement.
Adding: "But I think the attraction of Australia might sway us."
And it would seem it did, with the out-of-contract Del Piero signing a two-year deal with the A-League outfit, reportedly worth £1.2m-a-year to the 37-year-old.
"I am extremely happy to be joining Sydney FC," Del Piero said at a news conference in Turin today.
"This is a very big moment for me because I want to continue my career in a new part of the world where I can make a major contribution and help grow the game I love. The most important thing for me has always been the football and I want to help Sydney FC be successful.
"This is an exciting journey for me and I look forward to joining my new team mates in Sydney shortly."
Del Piero follows in the footsteps of other ageing footballers including Robbie Fowler, Romario, Juninho and Dwight Yorke to have headed down-under in the twilight of their career.
Sydney FC chairman Scott Barlow said the signing was a "major coup for Sydney FC and marks a historic day for football in this country.
"This is for all Australian football fans. Alessandro Del Piero is a global icon of the game and we are honored he has chosen Sydney FC, ahead of many other options, as the club where he will begin the next chapter of his illustrious football career."
Latest in Sport
What time is the 2015 WWE Royal Rumble on? TV details and full card
Royal Rumble 2015: Roman Reigns triumphs after The Rock returns to set-up Wrestlemania showdown with Brock Lesnar
Brighton 2 Arsenal 3 player ratings: Did Tomas Rosicky's performance and goal make him man of the match at Amex Stadium?
Liverpool transfer news and rumours: Glen Johnson to stay; Fabian Delph move goes up in flames; Marc-Andre Ter Stegen for loan deal
Brighton vs Arsenal match report: Tomas Rosicky inspirational as Gunners avoid scare
- 1 Paris attacks: Do not call Charlie Hebdo killers 'terrorists', BBC says
- 2 Man who held up 'hire me' sign at Waterloo station returns a year later with 'I'm hiring' sign
- 5 The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
Nigel Farage: NHS might have to be replaced by private health insurance
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
George Galloway condemns 'racist, Islamophobic, hypocritical rag' Charlie Hebdo at freedom of speech rally