Melbourne City are targeting the signing of struggling on-loan Hibernian striker Jamie Maclaren as the successor of frozen out Uruguayan Bruno Fornaroli.
The Covert Agent can reveal City has pitched a loan offer to Maclaren's German parent club Darmstadt, with the hope the former Brisbane Roar attacker joins as a direct marquee replacement for Fornaroli after the Socceroos' Asian Cup campaign.
It's understood Maclaren's agents aren't sold on the idea of their client returning to the A-League - believing he can put himself in the shop window with a positive tournament for the national team in the UAE.
But a move back Down Under hasn't been completely ruled out with the 25-year-old struggling at Hibernian this season, having not scored a goal in any competition since August.
Maclaren, who is yet to score in his seven Socceroos caps, is in consideration for the green and gold's lone striker role but appears to have slipped behind Urawa Reds forward Andrew Nabbout in the pecking order.