One of the biggest names in world football will be playing for a suburban Melbourne football club in an FFA Cup semi-final pending the approval of documents from the Department of Immigration to free-up a visa-player spot. National Premier League Victoria club Hume City, who will host A-League champions Melbourne Victory in a cup semi-final on October 28, are deep in negotiations to sign one of Ronaldinho, Arda Turan, David Trezeguet or Giorgios Karagounis as a guest player.
The ambitious state league club is made up of little more than 300 registered participants but could boast one of the most high-profile stars to have played in . However, standing in the way of Hume City signing one of the four drawcards hinges on the residency application of goalkeeper Chris Oldfield, who is scheduled to receive his paperwork just weeks after the FFA Cup semi-final.
An FFA spokesman confirmed the governing body would not break competition rules to allow Hume City adding a third visa-player to their squad even if it was to sign a notable guest player that would potentially attract a sell-out crowd AAMI Park in Melbourne. Oldfield’s citizenship application is understood to have been approved but the club requested to fast-track the delivery of documents to register the shot-stopper as an n player before the match, paving the way for one of the most unlikely signings in n football to occur. Hume also have British player Nick Haggarty on their books.
Fairfax Media understands former World Cup winner David Trezeguet is the most likely to become the remarkable guest player for Hume City having agreed to a deal to play one game with the club. The former Juventus and France striker quit playing in January but has agreed in principle to a $50,000 deal to come out of retirement for one match in . The 37-year-old last played professionally in December last year but is said to be fit having played in many friendlies since.
Hume have also been in discussions with former World Player of the Year, Ronaldinho for the lucrative guest spot though the former Barcelona and AC milan playmaker would be a more expensive option. The 35-year-old Brazilian agreed to play for up to 60 minutes to help propel Hume to the FFA Cup final.
Founded by Turkish migrants in 1979, Hume used an extensive network of connections in Turkey to try and lure current Barcelona and Turkey star Arda Turan. Hume directors spoke directly with the winger who was happy to come play one match in while awaiting his transfer clearance in Spain. Due to Barcelona’s transfer embargo, Turan can not play until January 2016 after completing his switch from Atletico Madrid in the European summer. Barcelona would likely command a fee to loan the player to Hume for one game despite yet to register him in La Liga. Any loan deal for Turan would include the support of a sponsor and Hume also hoped a deal with Etihad Stadium would help sign one of the world’s best attacking players. A war of words broke-out between the FFA and the Melbourne club over the venue for their semi-final against Victory after Hume made a late request to host the match at Etihad Stadium. After initially submitting their venues for broadcast games as Lakeside Stadium and AAMI Park, Hume were offered minimum $150,000 to host the game at Docklands with the venue covering all operational risks and costs.
Both Hume and FFA remained tight-lipped on the matter when contacted by Fairfax Media on Thursday but are at loggerheads over the events that led to the match being played at the smaller capacity of AAMI Park. Hume have the opportunity to earn a significant pay cheque from AAMI Park but will face a financial risk having to cover up to $90,000 in hiring costs.
Greece’s most capped player of all-time, Giorgos Karagounis was also approached by Hume but is considered an outside chance to play.