Adelaide United CEO Michael Petrillo has attempted to curb the hype surrounding the club’s bid to lure Italian striker Luca Toni to Australia, claiming negotiations are still at an early stage.
Adelaide chairman Greg Griffin said on Tuesday his team were “serious” about prising soon-to-be free agent Toni away from Hellas Verona, following reports A-League clubs were circling the 38-year-old.
Toni – out of contract in June – has defied his age to lead the Serie A goalscoring charts with 21 goals heading into the final round of the season.
But Petrillo stressed there is still plenty of work to do if Adelaide are to sign Toni as a marquee, telling FourFourTwo Australia: “It’s at a very early stage. We don’t want to get too carried away, we’re looking at it, it’s not something we’re pinning our hopes on.
“It’s a really long shot, but it’s something we feel it would be remiss of us not to have a look at it.
“There’s no doubt we’ve always been a club that said we’re not in the market for a really high profile marquee type player.
“The chances of being able to bring someone of that ilk to Adelaide at the present time is really difficult. Having said that, it would be remiss of us not to look at the opportunity and see what’s presented and if there’s any way we could get the deal over the line.”
Petrillo added: “Any club would want a player of that ilk, especially if they’re going to make a positive commercial impact on the club and more importantly a positive impact on our results.
“There’s a decent Italian community in every capital city and Adelaide is no different, but he goes beyond that having played at Bayern Munich and being very successful.
“He’s a proven goal scorer. He’s scoring a lot of goals still at Serie A, which is one of the top four leagues in the world playing with a club in the bottom half of the table.
“He’s certainly a quality player. He could make a difference to any team in the A-League.”
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