Wanderers eye Ballack guest player stint

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A-League newcomers the Western Sydney Wanderers have not ruled out the possibility of signing former German captain Michael Ballack and hinted a guest-player stint may be the way to lure the star midfielder.

Securing Ballack would complete a stunning trio for the A-League after Italian superstar Alessandro Del Piero penned a deal with Sydney FC and former England international Emile Heskey joined the Newcastle Jets.

Wanderers coach Tony Popovic admits having both big names in the league has generated much more interest in his club.

“There are a lot of players that are interested now with Emile Heskey being here and Alessandro Del Piero being here,” he said.

But with reports saying the Wanderers, who are funded by Football Federation Australia, would need $2.5 million for Ballack’s signature, the club’s executive chairman Lyall Gorman said a guest player stint is being explored.

“We’re flattered by the attention that we’ve received from agents and oversees players in relation to interest in joining our club and there’s no denying that Ballack is one of those who has been put on the table,” Gorman said on Friday.

“I can assure you there’s no deal that’s been done at this time but we’re not dismissing any options and one of the more interesting concepts for us to explore at the moment is the concept of a guest player stint of some form or another.”

A week out from kicking off their first A-League campaign, the Wanderers unveiled Socceroo defender Michael Beauchamp as the club’s inaugural captain on Friday.

And with much of the attention centred around former Chelsea and Bayer Leverkusen star Ballack, who captained Germany to the 2002 World Cup final, Gorman was intent on redirecting the spotlight.

“The focus really should be on this Michael right here, Michael Beauchamp, at a key moment in history in our club’s evolution.”

Former Sydney FC player Beauchamp will lead his side in their opening clash against last season’s minor premiers the Central Coast at Parramatta Stadium on Saturday week.

© AAP 2014

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