Soccer

Western Sydney still hopes to sign Michael Ballack

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SYDNEY (AP)

The Western Sydney Wanderers say they are still hopeful of signing German World Cup veteran Michael Ballack to an Australian A-League football contract for the coming season.

Wanderers coach Tony Popovic on Tuesday dismissed local media reports that Western Sydney's negotiations with the 36-year-old Ballack had broken down.

Popovic said the Wanderers, who are due to make their debut in the A-League this season, were still talking to Ballack, Japan playmaker Shinji Ono and ''several others.''

The pressure on A-League clubs to sign big-name players has been ramped up by Sydney FC's signing of former Juventus star Alessandro del Piero and the Newcastle Jets' acquisition of former England striker Emile Heskey.

Popovic said ''if all the boxes can be ticked then he (Ballack) would be an option for us.''



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