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Socceroo ace Tim Cahill could help Adelaide United, Mariners in A-League

Jason Dasey and Kaz Patafta discuss where Tim Cahill may go to find regular football in order to be selected for Australia's 2018 World Cup squad.

With Sydney FC eight points clear at the top of the table, their A-League rivals will be looking to bolster their squads in the January transfer window in an attempt to close the gap.

Here are some the key areas where each of the 10 clubs may be looking for reinforcements, with Socceroos forward Tim Cahill a free agent after leaving Melbourne City at the start of December.

Adelaide United

What they need: Someone to bang them in. Despite their good run of form, United haven't scored more than twice in a single game -- even last-placed Wellington have as many goals this term.

What they'll get: How deep are Greg Griffin's pockets? The A-League chief is loath to dip in to pay for top talent -- and maybe he's right given Marco Kurz's fine start to the season.

Dream signing: Tim Cahill

Brisbane Roar

What they need: The return of half their squad. John Aloisi's lengthy absentee list has cruelled their campaign. Another winger wouldn't go astray but the Roar really need more personnel in their prime given their current line-up of kids and over-30s.

What they'll get: Aloisi says there are no firm recruitment plans though is keeping an eye out for injury replacements.

Dream signing: Andrew Nabbout

Massimo Maccarone & John Aloisi
Coach John Aloisi, right, has had to cope with a heavy injury toll at Brisbane Roar this season.

Central Coast Mariners

What they need: A final touch to go with their promising build-up play. The Mariners showed vast improvement early in the season but have failed to score in their last four outings.

What they'll get: Paul Okon has signalled the likelihood of at least one new arrival to get them through a tough January without Olyroos Danny De Silva and Trent Buhagiar. Expect an imminent announcement.

Dream signing: Tim Cahill

Melbourne City

What they need: Warren Joyce's quiet revolution continues apace, with Neil Kilkenny certain to follow Cahill and Fernando Brandan through the exit door. But how to help this side go to the next level? If Ross McCormack stays fit, Osama Malik and Manny Muscat appear the weak links in the starting team; a combative midfielder to assist Luke Brattan would be ideal.

What they'll get: Dario Vidosic has already joined after leaving Wellington. Harrison Delbridge has been picked up already, with others likely to follow should Kilkenny or Ruon Tongyik leave in January. A back-up striker option would help given Bruno Fornaroli's return has been further delayed.

Dream signing: Mark Milligan

Mark Milligan celebrates after scoring for Melbourne Victory against Melbourne City.
Mark Milligan, left, has been a stalwart at Melbourne Victory, but could be more valuable at rivals Melbourne City.

Melbourne Victory

What they need: Left-back has been Victory's biggest issue this term, with Kevin Muscat swapping between Leigh Broxham, Stefan Nigro and Thomas Deng, none of whom have a history of playing there. A loan move for an out-of-action Socceroo would be ideal.

What they'll get: Maybe Dino Djulbic as an injury replacement for James Donachie, especially given Deng's absence on Olyroos' duty. Apart from that, Muscat has little history of mid-season signings -- Tom Rogic and Jai Ingham are the only two outfielders he's signed in four seasons.

Dream signing: Brad Smith

Newcastle Jets

What they need: A replacement for injured striker Roy O'Donovan. Andrew Nabbout has done nothing wrong in the role, but the winger isn't quite as strong a finisher as the Irish poacher. Remarkably, the absence of O'Donovan and Ronny Vargas hasn't stopped the Jets scoring -- they have 30 goals -- but any further injuries will put a hole in their revival.

What they'll get: Coach Ernie Merrick has already signed recent Socceroos bolter Riley McGree and is on the hunt for two forwards.

Dream signing: Andrija Kaludjerovic.

Andrew Nabbout has done a good job as makeshift striker, but Newcastle Jets have missed injured Roy O'Donovan.

Perth Glory

What they need: Stability. Kenny Lowe's side have been beset with injury problems and, more than any signings, the Glory need their key men to be fit. If anything, another defender or two could help stabilise the leaky defence. With 21 players coming off contract, serious discussions need to be had.

What they'll get: Lowe doesn't mind wheeling and dealing and is looking at injury-replacement options, though will likely wait a few weeks to see how quickly his own contingent return.

Dream signing: Neil Kilkenny

Sydney FC

What they need: Nothing.

Already eight points clear at the top, Graham Arnold's champions have just set a new A-League record for the most goals scored in a calendar year. This season they've conceded a league-low 10 and are already well on track for back-to-back premierships. The entire squad is a well-oiled machine with no loose screws.

What they'll get: An Asian winger to play exclusively in the AFC Champions League which, on current form, they have a shot at winning. They also reportedly have their eye on Portuguese winger Fabio Ferreira.

Dream signing: Paul Izzo

Jason Dasey speaks with Sydney FC media manager David Wariner to recap the 2018 AFC Champions League draw.

Wellington Phoenix

What they need: A spark to show them the light at the end of a very dark tunnel. The Phoenix have been woeful this season and sit dead last with seven points from 12 games. Coach Darije Kalezic is in dire need of some creativity and goal-scoring prowess, especially after the departures of Gui Finkler and Dario Vidosic.

What they'll get: Exactly that, having just re-signed 2015 Johnny Warren medallist Nathan Burns. The 24-time Socceroo is set to re-establish his combination with Michael McGlinchey and Roy Krishna to form a more potent front third.

Dream signing: Nathan Burns

Western Sydney Wanderers

What they need: Some semblance of solidarity and cohesion. Inconsistencies under Josep Gombau have rocked the club to the core. On paper the squad has title potential but not all the players are on the same page, and it is showing.

What they'll get: There's currently no room for any further signings but that could change quickly given several players are considering seeking releases. If so, Gombau may be able to tweak his lineup to better suit his style.

Dream signing: Isaias

  

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