Melbourne Victory coach Kevin Muscat has distanced himself from potentially signing Socceroo James Troisi, who has annulled his contract with Al Ittihad and has been linked with A-League clubs.
Troisi played for Victory in 2013-14, scoring 15 goals in 35 matches in all competitions.
But it appears unlikely Muscat can find a spot in his squad for the 2015 Asian Cup hero, who is likely to demand marquee wages.
“We don’t have available marquee spots at the moment,” he said.
“So knowing all the facts, it’s very, very hard for James to come to this football club.”
Meanwhile, Muscat feels he has just “10 match-fit bodies” at his disposal ahead of Friday’s game against A-League leaders Brisbane Roar.
Victory have five players away with the Australia’s under-23s for the next fortnight, skipper Carl Valeri remains out with illness, while Nick Ansell and Archie Thompson have yet to reach peak fitness after long-term injuries.
On top of that, full-back Daniel Georgievski is unavailable to play the Roar due to suspension, meaning Muscat is considering playing either midfielder Rashid Mahazi or potential debutant Stefan Nigro in defence on Friday.
Muscat cannot remember a time at the club when they have been so undermanned.
“I think we’re down to 10 match-fit bodies,” he said on Thursday.
Muscat said it would be “irresponsible” to start Ansell against Brisbane, despite the central defender having made his return off the bench in Victory’s 3-3 draw with Central Coast Mariners last week.
Stand-in captain Leigh Broxham will therefore have to continue at centre-back.