They may just be five games into their season, but Sydney FC are already turning their attention towards bolstering their forward line in the mid-season transfer window with the potential signing of former A-League star Fabio Ferreira.
Fairfax Media understands the Portuguese winger is close to joining the Sky Blues in January after playing his last game Malaysian club PKNS last weekend.
The 28-year-old former Central Coast Mariners and Adelaide United player is understood to be the club's primary target for the next transfer window as they look to further bolster their already impressive roster ahead of a busy second half of the season, including an Asian Champions League campaign.
Sydney have held initial talks to bring Ferreira to Moore Park for the second half of the season where he will alleviate some of the pressure on Sydney's veteran forwards in the back end of the season.
After losing Bernie Ibini and Filip Holosko at the end of the season, the Sky Blues lost pace and power in their forward line and believe the speed and movement of Ferreira would compliment their current wide players, David Carney, Milos Ninkovic and Adrian Mierzejewski.
Should Ferreira move to Moore Park in January, it raises questions as to how coach Graham Arnold will manage his squad during the Asian Champions League as the former Chelsea youth player would not be registered as a local player. While Ferreira spent five years in the A-League and may be eligible to apply for Australian citizenship, he does not yet have an Australian passport. The continental competition's regulations permit four foreign players per club, one of which reserved specifically for an Asian player.
Signing a fast-paced winger is a priority for the Sky Blues before the busy end of season schedule after their depth in wide areas has already been tested due to an injury to Mierzejewski. The Polish international missed the Sky Blues' 1-0 win over Melbourne City on Friday night that propelled Sydney to the top of the table with Arnold suggesting it was largely as a precaution.
"I think if we maybe played in Sydney he would have been fine but with the travel and knowing this field as well as I do it's fast, it's slippery, it's hard and the most important thing for us that we get him right. He's come from the Middle East where the training and the intensity of the game isn't what it is here," Arnold said after the game. "The most important thing is we get him right, he's ready and he's available for the whole season, not just a couple of weeks."