Massimo Ambrosini has been offered a contract by an A-League club, according to his agent. Though the club is not specified, the list of clubs without a current foreign Marquee Player leaves only a handful of possible locations: Melbourne Heart, Adelaide United, Central Coast Mariners, Wellington Phoenix and Perth Glory.
Central Coast have never used its Marquee slot, let alone on a foreign player with big wages. Graham Arnold is rebuilding his squad and will likely need to employ more foreign players than in years past, but for a club that was not paying wages earlier this year, a major move for a well known European player is highly unlikely.
Wellington and Perth both suffer from extreme distance from the major cities of Australia's eastern and southern coasts, not to mention a lack of funding to pull off a big money signing. That is especially true at Wellington where new manager Ernie Merrick has promised international players but indicated that they might come from Asia and not Europe.
Adelaide and Heart are the only two realistic locations with Melbourne seemingly the more ambitious of the two so far this offseason, having already signed Harry Kewell and been linked with Norwich City striker Grant Holt. The 36-year-old central midfielder will become a free agent July 1 and will be free to choose his next and perhaps final destination in a long, accomplished career.
According to Ambrosini's agent Moreno Roggi, there are several clubs in for the Milan captain:
"The situation is we turned down an offer from Los Angeles [Galaxy]. We have negotiations going on with West Ham, but nothing with Fiorentina, as they have not made us any proposals. Having said that, I do hear Ambrosini is on the list for the Viola if David Pizarro leaves. We received another offer this morning from Australia."
Should clubs like Heart and Adelaide be bidding for the services of late career Italian stars, as Sydney FC did last year with Alessandro Del Piero? Or will the expenditures required to acquire such players prevent the clubs from developing domestic talent?