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
New day (slowly) rising – As Brasileirão gets underway, Brazilian football stumbles, rather than leaps into the future
The average Serie A crowd last year was 13,000 - comparable to Australia’s A-League.
by James Young
24 May 2013 04:31 PM
Monaco is a street circuit where driver ability is more important than anywhere else and if we take ...
by Gareth Purnell
24 May 2013 02:00 AM
Three weeks ago as I drove off the Eurostar, I remember thinking what a very long time it was until ...
by Martin Ayres
23 May 2013 05:29 PM
Why Manchester City were willing to fork out $500m on stake in MLS
Manchester City coach in waiting Manuel Pellegrini: Inside the mind of anti-Mancini
Champions League final: Biggest German invasion since the fifth century as Bayern Munich face Borussia Dortmund
Borussia Dortmund v Bayern Munich: 50 things you need to know about the Champions League final
Champions League Final: Can Jürgen Klopp's Borussia Dortmund stop the Bayern Munich machine?
- 1 What, let gays get married? We must be bonkers
- 2 Rocky Horror star Tim Curry 'suffers major stroke'
- 3 Exclusive: How MI5 blackmails British Muslims
- 4 Lord of the Sings: Sir Christopher Lee, 91, to release heavy metal album
BMF is the UK’s biggest and best loved outdoor fitness classes
Get the latest on The Evening Standard's campaign to get London's children reading.
Win anything from gadgets to five-star holidays on our competitions and offers page.