Italian great Alessandro del Piero could pull on a Sydney FC shirt as soon as next weekend after the club announced he would arrive earlier than expected.
The 37-year-old striker will touch down in Sydney on Sunday morning after sealing a lucrative two-year deal with the A-League club last week.
It was thought the former Juventus star would arrive midway through next week and potentially not play until first in the A-League opener against the Wellington Phoenix on October 6 in Wellington.
However, after receiving his visa clearance, he was keen to link up with his new team as soon as possible.
Del Piero will have to wait at least a day to meet his new teammates, who do not return from Saturday's trial against Brisbane in Mackay until Monday, and is expected to train with them for the first time on Tuesday.
The earlier-than-expected arrival increases Del Piero's chances of making his Sydney debut in their September 22 trial against Newcastle - in the humble surroundings of Budgewoi on the NSW Central Coast.
Sydney coach Ian Crook and medical staff will run the rule over the Italian's fitness, but certainly won't rush their prize recruit into action for the sake of it.
"As a coaching and medical group well have a chat to him and a good look at him so we can plan through that process," Crook said."He is coming out a little bit earlier than we had thought which is good and shows he's a pro and is keen to get started, which we knew was the case."