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Horncastle: Parma have been failed

Serie A
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SydFC could punt Petratos to fix defence

Sydney FC may be forced to cull impressive young striker Dimitri Petratos in order to shore up their embattled defence.

The struggling A-League outfit is currently without a head coach after Ian Crook stood down after conceding three late goals in a 3-2 loss to Melbourne Victory a fortnight ago.

And they own the worst defence in the competition having let in 20 goals in just seven games to sit in outright last on the ladder.

The miserable defence reached its lowest point during an embarrassing 7-2 thrashing at the hands of Central Coast at the start of the month, which was followed by the Victory loss and a 4-2 belting by champions Brisbane last week.

And the fall guy appears to be young star Petratos, who has scored five goals since making his debut for the club late in 2010, including a brace of goals against the Mariners last season.

But the 20-year-old has been unable to grab regular playing time for the underperforming Sky Blues this year - playing just once, while regularly turning out for the youth team.

Petratos is being courted by Malaysian Super League giants Kelantan FA, who formally advised Sydney of their interest in a loan of the Australian under-23 star on Thursday.

Kelantan are the current Malaysian Super League champions, and last year won the treble by also winning the FA Cup and Malaysia Cup.

It is understood Sydney are in the market for a centre-back option to fix their fragile backline and are open to offers on Petratos.

But they'll need to move quickly, with the Malaysian transfer window closing on December 1.

Petratos' agent, James Hardy, wouldn't be drawn on Sydney FC's intentions but confirmed the interest from Kelantan.

"No deal has been done as yet, there is concrete interest from Kelantan which was sent to the club (on Thursday)," Hardy told AAP.

"It is now up to the Sydney FC board to decide which direction they want to go. Dimi deserves to play regular football, so let's leave it at that."

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