David Villa arrives in Australia on October 7, but Melbourne City coach John van 't Schip is unsure if the star will be ready for round one.
While Villa has been training with a personal trainer and New York City's fledgling squad, it remains unclear whether he will be sharp enough to take part in Melbourne City's maiden A-League match away to Sydney FC on October 11.
The Spaniard's first official appearance for City will be at the launch of the 2014-15 A-League season, which will be held in both Melbourne and Sydney on October 7.
But Villa declared he will be all about the business of on-field performance once he begins training with Van 't Schip's squad.
"The overall goal is to help the team perform well while I am there," the former Barcelona and Atletico Madrid forward said in a statement.
"Support the Melbourne City team, build relationships, enjoy the style of football the league [in Australia] has to offer and, obviously, I want to do my job well and help Melbourne City to win as many games as possible."
As part of Villa's loan deal from New York to Melbourne, the decorated striker can only play 10 A-League matches.
But speaking to SEN 1116 on Tuesday, Van 't Schip said Villa may not even play that many if it is believed he is not ready.
"It will be a challenge," Van 't Schip said.
"It's part of the deal we have with the City Football Group [who own Manchester City, New York City and Melbourne City] and with David Villa and we all know that, and we're not making a problem of it because when you get a player like David Villa in, first of all we have to see … where he is at with his physical level and we have talks, of course, with his personal trainer, and he's been training for weeks in New York.
"So when he comes over, we're quite sure he's going to be at a high level. But then again we still have to see at that moment [how he is]."
Villa is just one of the high-profile players City have signed ahead of their first A-League campaign, with ex-Hull City attacking midfielder Robi Koren signed as a marquee, while former Chelsea winger Damien Duff is also part of Van 't Schip's squad.
Van 't Schip would like to sign another defender but conceded it could be difficult due to a lack of salary cap space.
"We can't … in one year, build a totally new team," the Dutch coach said.
"So it's going to cost time to really get to where we want to. We got some players in for the defence - Connor Chapman unfortunately has been sick [with glandular fever] for the whole pre-season, he's a very talented young defender.
"We have some issues that we still want to get somebody in for the defence but it's not going to be easy because of the salary cap."comments