Sydney FC: No Essien but 'phones working hot'

While coach Graham Arnold turns his attention to the January transfer window, Sydney FC have denied receiving any formal approach about Michael Essien’s services.

The 33-year-old ex-Chelsea, Real Madrid and AC Milan midfielder had been linked with the Sky Blues in recent days.

Essien has only recently returned from injury, but the player’s agent is reportedly keen on a loan move away from Greek club Panathinaikos.

“There has been no formal approach made to Sydney FC but he is the type of world renowned player we are always linked with as a club,” a Sydney FC spokesperson told FourFourTwo.

Sydney currently has a full quota of visa players, with Milos Dimitrijevic, Milos Ninkovic, Mickael Tavares, Jacques Faty and marquee Filip Holosko on board.

However, Arnold suggested the club could explore the option of a guest player.

“I’d just say the phones have been working hot,” Arnold said.

“We’ve got more than enough Australian players here and the full quota of foreign players but we can explore the guest player option as well.

“I’m not saying that we will but we can explore the options.”

Sydney are currently fourth on the A-League ladder, with an equal league low 10 goals conceded, but just 15 goals scored, the worst of any club in the top six.

Arnold added: “Whether it’s rebuilding, restarting or strengthening, some players that maybe not getting game time here and maybe want to move on, it’s also about bringing players in to strengthen the team for the second half of the season.

“I’m looking forward to the transfer window and we’ll see what eventuates.

“I have to look at the first half of the season where we haven’t done well and that’s where I’ll see with my network of agents and contacts we have, what’s available and what we can do.”