As the A-League season approaches, a new foreign import has been linked with Melbourne City.
Former Serie A side attacker Manuel Pucciarelli is set to sign with a Melbourne side according to his agent. Speaking to Italian paper Tutto Mercato Pucciarelli's agent is quoted as saying:
"We have an opportunity abroad. We are close to a possibility in Australia. An opportunity for both sides: for Melbourne to secure a player with experience in Italy, for Manuel to play in the Champions League. It is a high level championship ”.
By this admission, one can deduct that the club in question is Melbourne City as it's winning 2020-21 season makes it the only Melburnian club to have qualified for the 2022 AFC Champions League.
According to Italian paper Tifosi Palermo, Pucciarelli was recently released from Serie B side AC Chievo Verona. Tifosi Palermo go on to confirm Tutto Mercato's link to a Melbourne based club.
Should Pucciarelli sign with City, the Victorian club will gain a player with more than ten years of experience in Italy. The attacker started his career with then Serie B club Empoli FC in 2010-11. He remained with the club until 2019. Empoli achieved promotion to Serie A in 2013-14.
Pucciarelli went on two loans during his time with Empoli, first with Serie D club Follonica Gavorrano in 2011-12 and then with Serie A rivals Chievo Verona from 2017 to 2019. He signed a permanent deal with Chievo in 2019 and was then temporarily loaned to Serie B side Delfino Pescara in 2019-20. He also spent time on loan with UAE club Dibba Al-Fujairah last season.
The 30-year-old has largely been used as a second striker or false nine in his career. In his 230 Italian league appearances he has managed to score 36 goals. 16 of those were Serie A goals where he also made 7 assists.
Should the City move come to fruition, it will be the club's third new signing of the off season. Forward Matthew Leckie and defender Jordon Hall joined the champions on a free transfers.