Central Coast Mariners chairman Lyall Gorman has admitted the A-League club are hopeful, rather than confident, of securing the services of Socceroos winger David Carney for their upcoming Asian Champions League campaign.
The former Sydney FC star has struggled to make an impression at Sheffield United this season, playing just one game, and is desperate to secure a move away from Bramall Lane in the January transfer window.
The Mariners hope to use their links with the English Championship club and Chinese side Chegdu Blades to bolster their squad for a busy six months.
Gorman said Carney would be an ideal signing, but admitted it will be hard to entice him back to Australia.
"To be honest the chances are pretty remote and David has a whole range of preferred options and they are to remain in Europe," said Gorman.
"But if nothing happens in January for him then we are hopeful we can maybe offer him something here.
"But we have to say it is less rather than more likely to happen."
The Mariners will take just 16 players to Melbourne for their A-League clash on Friday and Gorman said the club have been in constant contact with both of their partner clubs about potential signings.
"We have a clear need for some new players and the Champions League is a big opportunity for us," he said.
"There are some very good players in China who have good experience in the ACL who we are looking at.
"It is just a case of seeing what happens in the transfer windows and trying to see if clubs are willing to let players leave on loan."