Lavicka has been given until early February to tell club bosses whether he wants to extend his stay or return home to the Czech Republic.

It's understood he is leaning towards leaving, paving the way for Arnold to jump from the smallest club in the A-League to one of the biggest.

The former Socceroos coach has produced a minor miracle at the Mariners, leading the competition battlers to last year's grand final and guiding them 10 points clear of the field as the 2011-12 approaches its climax.

Arnold has a year to run on his contact but it's believed he is tired of working on a shoestring budget and would be interested in a return to his home city of Sydney.

A contract release would have to be approved by the Mariners but there are suggestions the club is behind in payments to Arnold and may not be able to stop him leaving.

However when he might actually switch clubs is unclear.

With the finals series and the Mariners' Asian Champions League campaign imminent, a gentleman's agreement to move at the end of the season may be required by all parties.

But the Mariners may have new owners by then who clear outstanding debts - including Arnold's reported unpaid wages - and possibly bring fresh investment to revitalise the club.

Aware Adelaide United are also circling Arnold, Sydney FC CEO Dirk Melton today admitted "He's a great candidate.

"He's got his pro licence, he's done an incredible job (at the Mariners), he's an icon of the game in this country and he's from (Sydney).

"He's under contract right now so it's probably not too appropriate to talk about his position, but he'd be somebody you'd obviously have to have a conversation with.

"We need to go through an appropriate process which takes a multitude of attributes into account.

"We haven't gone about implementing anything but obviously as part of the process we need to have an understanding of what we need and what attributes we would look for and look for candidates that would fit that."

Melton stressed there had been no formal approach to Arnold and nor would there be until Lavicka's future was sorted.

But the clock is ticking.

Melton said: "It's getting towards that time where decisions (on next year's coach) need to be made.

"We always said it was going to be early February. At this stage it's still a conversation to be had between us and a coach we care for greatly."

Sydney FC have entered into a community partnership with the Sydney Children's Hospital Foundation (SCHF).

Launched at the SFS on Tuesday, the club will help raise awareness and funds for the hospital.

The Sky Blues will hand over $10,000 from Sunday's match against Newcastle and are urging fans to donate.