The two Melburnians pulled off the biggest coup in Australian club history with their own version of “The Italian Job”, dragging a global spotlight to the humble A-League in 2012 when the Juventus icon and Azzurri great swapped Turin for the eastern suburbs of Sydney.

Can an agent pull a rabbit out of the hat again in 2019?

Here are four potential names from the English Premier League who are now currently free agents. 


The stats say it all: 116 caps and 50 goals for Japan

An extraordinary athlete, fabulous pro and English Premier League winner with Leicester City in 2016, Okazaki has also been a thorn in the side of the Socceroos for the last decade. 

At 33, the Japanese star would be a cracking signing in a similar way that Shinji Ono was for Wanderers in 2012.

The free agent was part of a massive overhaul at Leicester City at the end of last season after four years with the Foxes.

Huddersfield tried to sign him in the January transfer window offering a modest $400,000 for the Japanese striker who can also play deeper.

His experience and attraction to Japanese fans in Australia would make him an excellent marquee. Like Ono.

And having been teammates with Keisuke Honda in the Samurai Blue, he'll know who to call for the inside word on the A-League. 

Okazaki and Honda at the 2018 World Cup for Japan


With Liverpool legend Robbie Fowler now in charge at Brisbane Roar, would Daniel Sturridge make a good marquee signing in Queensland? In short, yes. 

The former England striker, capped 26 times, has been released by European champions Liverpool after playing a bit part in the Reds’ extraordinary season.

The likeable Sturridge is both marketable (his goal-scoring celebration) and is still playing at a high level.

At 29, he may enjoy being the centre of attention again for a spell at an Aussie club, one that may even include an Asian Champions League campaign if Glory or Sydney FC were looking. 

He’s been to Australia on numerous Liverpool tours over the last six years (below against Sydney FC in 2017), which could be a factor in staving off potential moves to the MLS.

As we write, Sturridge - who turns 30 on September 1 - is still on the market.