Lucas Neill has been linked with a surprise move to manager-less J.League club Omiya Ardija, as they seek to arrest a nightmare form slump.
Traditional strugglers at the wrong end of the table, Omiya had unexpectedly led the competition earlier this season, but a run of five defeats in succession - during which they have conceded 12 goals - prompted them to dismiss coach Zdenko Verdenik and install general manager Takeyuki Okamoto as caretaker.
Such is the extent of their collapse, the club are believed to be considering a move for club-less veteran Neill, who is well known to Japanese football after his stellar performances for the Socceroos against the Samurai Blue, most recently in the 1-1 World Cup qualifying draw in Saitama on June 4.
Japanese newspaper Nikkan published a story on Monday praising Neill's strength, positioning and ability to play accurate long passes.
"Neill's a free agent so the transfer window doesn't apply to him, but we want close the deal as quickly as possible," an unnamed Omiya official was quoted as saying.
The most information on Neill's future came from none other than Socceroos coach Holger Osieck, who revealed the veteran had not been considered for the East Asian Cup squad because he was in the United States, apparently negotiating with two Major League Soccer franchises.
Forgotten Socceroo David Carney has since joined Tim Cahill at New York Red Bulls, but Neill remains in limbo since ending a brief spell with Sydney FC at the end of the last A-League season.