Torres miss won't deter A-L marquee hunt

Vince Rugari
Cult player Peter Crouch has been mentioned in dispatches as a possible A-League target

Sydney FC might have missed out on Fernando Torres but CEO Danny Townsend remains hopeful they can hook another big fish to replace their two departed stars.

Despite a bold tandem bid from the Sky Blues and Football Federation Australia, veteran Spanish striker Torres has opted to continue his career at Japanese club Sagan Tosu rather than in the A-League.

With Keisuke Honda pricing himself out of the market, it seems likely that none of the initial six targets on the marquee shortlist FFA drew up two months ago will be lured to the competition.

But armed with the transfer fees from the sale of Bobo and Adrian Mierzejewski and a slice of FFA's $3 million marquee fund if they can find the right player, Sydney are refusing to give up.

"I wouldn't suggest the cue's in the rack as a league," Townsend told AAP.

"There's lots of players that we're looking at across the board and I think that as the World Cup concludes and players move around, like with all football transfer windows, people have got to be moved out to move people in and vice versa. That presents an opportunity.

"Obviously timelines for us are such that we've got to make commitments to your playing group and (coach) Stevie Corica deserves the right to get his playing group settled as quickly as possible.

"We're not going to wait too long, but we're also not going to stop looking."

One other name that has been floated is former English international striker Peter Crouch, who is regarded as a Premier League cult hero because of his lanky frame and affable nature.

But it's understood no A-League club has yet shown genuine interest in the 37-year-old, who is still contracted to Stoke City.

FFA's preference is to divide the marquee fund to sign multiple big-name players to replicate the buzz of season 2012-13, when Alessandro Del Piero, Shinji Ono and Emile Heskey all lit up the competition at once.

"I think we've all maintained as clubs, our collective goal is to grow the profile of the league. We all need that," Townsend said.

"And there's no doubt bringing players of Fernando's calibre to this country would do that.

"If that's with our club or another, we're very supportive of that."