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Former Manchester United star striker Dwight Yorke has emerged as a marquee target for Sydney FC.


Yorke, with Premier League side Birmingham City, has received interest from Japanese side Yokohama F Marinos but is believed to favour a move to Sydney.

Sydney FC were told on Friday of Yorke's availability at the end of the European season in May.

"I think Dwight Yorke would add enormous interest to the local scene," Sydney FC chief executive Andy Harper said. "He is well known, highly credentialled and the type of player who would add enormous value to any A-League team."

The 33-year-old was a Manchester United record signing in 1998 when he joined from Aston Villa for £12.6 million.

He was a key player in the club's historic 1999 treble-winning side. United won the Premiership, FA Cup and European Champions League, and Yorke had a formidable goal-scoring partnership with Andy Cole.

The Trinidad and Tobago striker joined Blackburn Rovers in 2002 before moving to Birmingham at the beginning of this season.

Yorke has a long association with Sydney, a factor that would make a move more likely than for other big-name Premier League stars demanding an unrealistic salary.

A-League regulations state each club can have one player outside its $1.5 million salary cap.

Yorke was a close friend of former Socceroos goalkeeper Mark Bosnich during their days at Aston Villa and Manchester United, and has regularly had holidays in Sydney.

Yorke's boss, Birmingham City manager Steve Bruce, is a former teammate of Sydney FC assistant coach Ian Crook at Norwich City.

Sydney FC claim to have been inundated with profiles of international players looking to take one of the final five places available in their 20-man squad.

The club is so confident it is operating in a buyers' market that it will invite players at their own expense to travel to Sydney for trials.

"We have enormous interest from all corners of the world in the remaining playing spots," Harper said. "We have international footballers who have played at world cups and will be sending invitations offshore, to Asia and the Americas, for the players to come and trial. It is quite exciting.

"We have been bombarded with DVDs and video highlight packages. Ian Crook is sifting through them and working out what players we need.

"They will come off their own bat. The proof is in the pudding but they have already said they will pay their own way."

Harper said contracted players will have medical checks in February before training starts at the beginning of March under a new coach.

"The competitive advantage the A-League has is the global marketplace," he said. "The old adage that people would rather sit home and watch English Premier League than local football doesn't always add up."