Strap in for the Fornaroli/Keogh derby as City striker search goes on

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Perth is indignant at such suggestions, saying City asked first about their prolific Irishman (with whom City coach Warren Joyce worked when Keogh was much younger). Perth sources say they are keen to retain their man – why else would they have offered him a new contract?

They say the fact that he started on the bench against Sydney during the week should not be misconstrued as anything more than squad rotation during a particularly heavy period of matches.

Andy Keogh celebrates  after scoring a goal in Gosford on New Year's Eve,

Andy Keogh celebrates after scoring a goal in Gosford on New Year’s Eve,Credit:AAP

Both parties have also suggested that while this deal might make sense on paper it is unlikely to happen, and City, which is in desperate need of a forward, is not restricting its scouting to Perth.

Socceroos centre forward Jamie Maclaren enhanced his attractiveness when he netted his first goal for his country in the 3-0 Asian Cup win over Palestine late on Friday night, but whether his wage demands would provide a stumbling block for City only time will tell. That’s presuming if Maclaren wants to return to the A-League.

Another Socceroo on the radar is Andrew Nabbout. He rebuilt his career in the A-League last season with the Newcastle Jets in what was a whirlwind 12 months for a player Melbourne Victory dumped early in his career.

Nabbout won a move to huge Japanese club Urawa Red Diamonds and also forced his way into Bert Van Marwijk’s Australian squad for the World Cup, where he started against France and Denmark before injuring his shoulder.

His bustling, hard-running, hard-working style would look to be tailor-made for Joyce, but whether he would want to return to Australia after such a short time in Japan remains to be seen.

City might also fancy their chances of snaring another former Socceroo, one whose lack of recent game time did not help him in his unsuccessful bid to force his way into the Australian squad for the Asian Cup.

Tomi Juric was a key player for Ange Postecoglou during the World Cup qualifiers and was regularly used off the bench by Van Marwijk in Russia.

But he is not a first choice at his Swiss club Luzern, and City might consider it worth checking if he could be tempted by a big-money move back home.

It is thought his preference is to stay in Europe, but if he is keen to return to Australia and reboot his career City would be the sort of club with the resources to interest the former international.

Michael Lynch, The Age’s expert on soccer, has had extensive experience of high level journalism in the UK and Australia. Michael has covered the Socceroos through Asia, Europe and South America in their past three World Cup campaigns. He has also reported on Grands Prix and top class motor sport from Asia and Europe. He has won several national media awards for both sports and industry journalism.

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