Popovic defends transfer policy at Wanderers

Western Sydney Wanderers coach Tony Popovic says the club have been trying to sign a striker in the January transfer window, but have been constrained by various factors.

And he revealed Caltex Socceroo defender Matthew Spiranovic was close to re-signing for the club this month. 

Popovic: ‘Wanderers can still win the grand final’

In an interview with Fox Sports News on Monday night, Popovic said the club had been trying to sign much needed reinforcements up front.  

Asked why no striker had been brought in so far this month, Popovic said: “We have tried and we are still trying. We have another day to go…

“And it’s for many reasons. For some players it comes down to financial, whether a player’s available.

“We are all governed by the salary cap and the constraints within that.

Tony Popovic oversees a Wanderers training session.

“Also with the guest marquee, I’d love a bit more clarity from FFA on what is a guest marquee and what passes as one.

“So we’ve tried to do that as well and unfortunately that wasn’t passed by FFA.

“Certainly a big-name player we could afford … we’d welcome.”

The club is expected to announce a new player today (Tues). 

Popovic added Spiranovic was close to signing this month after his Chinese club was relegated from the Super League.

“Because we know him so well, and with him being in the Chinese second division, knowing Matty personally yes we made contact with him.

“But it wasn’t possible.”

Matthew Spiranovic

He added that foreign players often want improved contracts if the club has success.

With that in mind, Popovic added the club’s younger players were part of the future of the club.

Currently seven players from the club have been called up for an Olyroos training camp, a move Popovic hailed as confidence-boosting for those players. 

And he hoped many of those future stars could be tied down to longer-term deals, in order to provide a group of core players to help build a platform for future success.

“As part of the evolution of the club we can have three or four years with a core of younger players.

“And we feel we’re at a stage where our young players are stepping in – we had three youngsters who played in the derby a couple of weeks ago and did a very good job.

“And come this final push [in the league] we can rely on these young boys and help us get into those finals,” Popovic said.