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
QPR 1 Arsenal 2: Arsene Wenger praises 'mental strength' of strikers Alexis Sanchez and Olivier Giroud in win over QPR
Newcastle 0 Manchester United 1: Louis van Gaal describes performance as 'maybe our best match of the season'
Cristiano Ronaldo: Real Madrid superstar 'sends his hair stylist to look after his waxwork once a month'
Newcastle vs Manchester United match report: Ashley Young scores late winner as Angel Di Maria fails to shine yet again
Brooklyn Beckham to be released: Why Arsenal could regret letting David Beckham's son depart
- 1 What happens to your body when you give up sugar?
- 2 Drugs Live cannabis trial: Hash is less harmful than any other drug, expert claims
- 3 Turkish Airlines flight TK 726 crash-lands on Nepal runway amid dense fog
- 4 Penis size: Study revealing 'what's normal' sends international media into meltdown
- 5 Have sex with your iPad thanks to the new sex toy no-one asked for
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut
Durham Free School: 'Creationism taught at' free school facing closure
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
Ukraine crisis: Top Chinese diplomat backs Putin and says West should 'abandon zero-sum mentality'
Boris Nemtsov shot dead: Outspoken Putin critic who had expressed fears for his life is killed near the Kremlin