The tug-of-war between Sydney's two A-League clubs to appoint Tony Popovic as coach has escalated.
The Daily Mail claims former Australia international and now Crystal Palace assistant met with Football Federation Australia officials on Wednesday to discuss the new western Sydney club's inaugural coaching post, with the 38-year-old to sit down with Sydney FC officials on Thursday.
Popovic has ties with both clubs, having been born in the western Sydney suburb of Fairfield and also spending time a player and an assistant at the Sky Blues.
He may have little time to decide over his future should he be offered either role, with both clubs keen to begin recruitment for the 2012-13 A-League season squads under their new coach.
"Clearly I'd like a coach appointed yesterday but that's not the case," Sydney FC director of football Cole told the newspaper, with his club having failed to land both Central Coast Mariners coach Graham Arnold and Newcastle Jets counterpart Gary van Egmond.
"I wish it was as simple as saying it will be by this date. As soon as we can is the short answer, but we also need to make sure we have exactly the right person.
"It's a decision for the board, with discussions to be had at that level followed by contract negotiations.
"So we have to move with haste but always with the knowledge that we're doing it right."