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Jul 15, 2012

Culina out of Syd FC's price range: Crook

Sydney FC coach Ian Crook says while he'd love to have Jason Culina in his squad, the Socceroos midfielder would be out of his price range.

Culina's lengthy dispute with former A-League club Newcastle over compensation and insurance issues has finally been settled and he is now on the market providing his comeback goes to plan.

The clubless 31-year-old has been working with Sydney FC physio Stan Ivancic on the knee injury that sidelined him for 18 months.

That same injury resulted in the controversial sacking of his father and then-Jets coach, Branko, on the eve of the 2011/2012 season.

Crook, who has been on a big recruitment drive since taking the reins in May, says while there may be room for another player at the Sydney FC, signing Culina would stretch the club's budget.

But Crook was certain Culina would be snatched up with the Sky Blues' new cross-town rivals the Western Sydney Wanderers and the Central Coast Mariners said to be circling.

"If Jase says he'll come for $20,000 (a year) then maybe," Crook joked.

"At the end of the day, Jase has been a fantastic player and I'm sure he'll get back to playing again.

"Certainly if he gets back to the stage where he's playing and he's fit and healthy then there'll be a number of clubs interested in taking him on board."

Crook, who ended his global search for some forward firepower with the signing of Panamanian international striker Yairo Yau last week, said if he were to make another addition it would likely be an emerging talent.

"I'm pretty much done and dusted," Crook said.

"If we do bring anyone else in they won't be, shall we say, a household name who's earning fortunes.

"It will be someone who fits in with what we've got left to spend and also fits into the way that we want to play."

Yau's signing followed the recent acquisition of Croatian forward Krunoslav Lovrek.

Lovrek and Yau join defenders Adam Griffiths and Fabio and attacking midfielder Ali Abbas as some of the Sky Blues new names.

Lovrek will join the squad on Wednesday while Crook was hoping to finalise Yau's paperwork and have him in Sydney in a week's time.

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