Not to be outdone by A-League rival Sydney FC, Western Sydney Wanderers is chasing the signature of off-contract Germany star Michael Ballack, The World Game can reveal.
With the Sky Blues basking in the glory of landing Italian star Alessandro Del Piero on a two-year deal, it has emerged Wanderers has launched an audacious bid of its own for one of Germany's greatest ever players, who's contract at Bundesliga club Bayer Leverkusen is up.
It is believed representatives of Wanderers have been talking to Ballack's representatives over the past week, with a view to sealing a $1.6 million one-season deal.
Wanderers has filled its five Visa allocations already, but Ballack would still be able to qualify as a non-visa foreign player, eligible by residency in Australia.
In a mouth-watering sub-plot to the A-League's first Sydney derby, Ballack and Del Piero would face off when the two clubs meet for the first time on Saturday 20 October at Parramatta Stadium, should the deal happen.
Ballack is a veteran of 98 appearances for Germany, which he also captained. The 35-year-old midfielder was one of Roman Abramovich's first high profile recruitment coups joining Chelsea from Bayern Munich in 2006, before returning to Bayer Leverkusen in 2010.
The news comes in a ground-breaking week of high profile signings for the A-League, with reports on Wednesday linking Newcastle Jets with the $1 million signing of English striker Emile Heskey on a one-year deal.