Wellington Phoenix will make a serious play to lure Brazilian midfielder, Fred, to Westpac Stadium as the A-League club's permanent marquee player.
Fred, a former A-League MVP with Melbourne Victory, had a brief stint as a guest player for the Phoenix after America's Major League Soccer season finished late last year, but his stay was cut short because of the sudden death of his father.
However, Phoenix owner Terry Serepisos has always been keen to bring the DC United playmaker back to Wellington, and chief executive Tony Pignata said yesterday that the club would be making contact with Fred's agent this week.
Pignata said Fred, who was MVP in Melbourne's championship-winning team in 2006-07, was the only player the club was looking to add to its current playing roster.
DC United have an option to sign Fred for another year, but it is understood he is keen on a move back Down Under.
"We'd definitely love to have a chat and see what he wants to do next season," Pignata said.
"He'd be the only player, at this stage, we'd be looking to talk to. I'll have a chat to his agent over the next few days and see what they want to do.
"He's the person we'd consider in terms of a marquee player, but I don't think we'd go for a guest."
Pignata said they would want to bring Fred to Wellington to play this season, not just from next season, and it was "more than likely" he would be a marquee player, meaning his salary would fall outside the cap.
"If we could, as soon as possible, but we'll know a little bit more once I've had a chat to his agent and pushed things along.
"Within the next two weeks, we'd definitely want an answer – yes or no. I think he'd be fantastic just in behind the front two, he adds a bit of X-factor, which we need."
- The Dominion Post
How well will the Phoenix do in this year's A-League?