Sydney FC are still keen on securing Rhys Williams from Perth Glory as they look to add a centre-back during the January transfer window but are likely to rely on youngsters for the Sydney derby.
Coach Graham Arnold hinted last week that Sydney were hopeful of landing an experienced overseas defender in time for the derby against Western Sydney Wanderers at Allianz Stadium.
While that hasn't eventuated, Arnold insisted on Thursday that the Sky Blues were still looking at various possibilities to strengthen their squad.
Former Socceroos defender Michael Thwaite, who is on the books of Liaoning Whowin, has been reported as a potential target, while Sydney are also keen on Williams but Glory have so far been unwilling to let the 28-year-old go.
"It seems that Rhys is unhappy. It's clear he's not playing over there and for me Rhys is a national team player," Arnold said.
"I haven't had any personal contact with him. I can only see from afar but when he's playing youth team for Perth I can imagine he's not happy.
"Would we like to have him? Yeah if they don't want him we'd love to have him but it's out of our hands."
A-League clubs are not allowed to pay transfer fees to each other so Perth are hoping to sell Williams to an overseas club instead.
With Matt Jurman having joined K League club Suwon Bluewings and Seb Ryall (hamstring) out injured, Arnold has seemingly embraced the opportunity to test some of his youth team players.
"We've got some fantastic Under 20 kids. Patrick Flottman and George Timotheou are international players. They have been waiting for their chance for a long time and have worked extremely hard at training," Arnold said.
"They are part of the youth team that won six trophies last year. They are very good at what they do.
"Aaron Calver [who turned 21 on Thursday] is back and got a lot of experience in the A-League for a young kid. We have plenty of options and I'm very happy with them."
Brandon O'Neill slotted into defence when Ryall limped off in Sydney's 3-2 win over Central Coast Mariners last week but Arnold may prefer to keep the former in midfield against Western Sydney with fellow holding midfielder Josh Brillante unavailable through suspension.
Otherwise Arnold argued he could use Milos Ninkovic in a deeper role.