Manchester United legend Nani signs with Melbourne Victory in A-League boost

Cesc Fabregas could join Nani in the A-League Men next season.

Cesc Fabregas could join Nani in the A-League Men next season.Recognition:AP

Less than three years ago, the owners of A-League clubs were told by Richard Scudamore, who was chairman and CEO of the Premier League for two decades and served as a highly paid adviser during the league’s split from Football Australia, that they “don’t do it doesn’t need a whole bunch of globally recognized superstars’ to make competition a success in Australia’s competitive sports market, but calls on them to build fan loyalty by producing homegrown heroes and bleeding youth.

But after several seasons of declining numbers, accelerated by COVID-19, and with the A-League’s pandemic-triggered focus on young players who haven’t been able to catch on with mainstream audiences, club owners are once again relying on key signings to thrive improve viewership. Ratings and broader interest rate levels.

It’s worked to varying degrees throughout the A-League’s 17 seasons – and just like the competition’s peak years under Del Piero in the early 2010s, when the Italian legend was backed by Emile Heskey and Shinji Ono, Nani may not be the one only big name is coming to Australia for the new campaign.

Former Premier League opponents Cesc Fabregas are in ongoing negotiations with Dwight Yorke’s Macarthur FC, with the veteran Spaniard tempted by a move to the A-League’s newest club.

Any contract for Fabregas, 35, would need to be supplemented with additional funds from the Australian Premier League, with only the read Nani agreement with Victory to be included.

Fabregas, a 2010 world champion with Spain who played for Arsenal, Barcelona and Chelsea, may be the better known player but Nani seems like the safer bet football-wise. On paper, Nani is a straight swap for the late Kiwi international Marco Rojas, who was sacked by Victory on Monday to join Chilean side Colo-Colo and is believed to impress coach Tony Popovic during their phone calls Has.


He scored 31 goals in 88 games for Orlando City in Major League Soccer between 2019 and 2021 and made ten appearances for relegated Serie A team Venezia last season. Sources familiar with his performance in Italy said, that Nani didn’t play often, but trained regularly, was not hampered by major injury concerns and is in excellent physical condition. In total, he has scored 123 goals in 567 Premier League games.

By contrast, Fabregas made just two appearances for French Ligue 1 club Monaco last season – with his final competitive minutes for his B-team coming in April – but he has a CV that is rarely, if ever, matched in Australian football , is seen and is said to be motivated by his desire to end his glittering career on a much brighter note.

If his lack of mobility in York’s Macarthur midfield is given due consideration and he stays fit, Fabregas also has the potential to excite Australian crowds.

Sources close to the talks, which were chaired by Bulls boss Sam Krslovic and the APL and spanned many weeks, say Fabregas has other offers on the table and that a final decision will depend on the length of the deal and whether his realistic salary expectations are met. Fabregas is believed to be insisting on a two-year deal to give his family reassurance to justify a move to Australia, which poses a risk for Macarthur given his age and recent record.

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Nate Jones

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