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City linked with former Serie A forward Manuel Pucciarelli

The first significant transfer rumour of the off-season has surfaced for Melbourne City, with 30-year-old forward Manuel Pucciarelli linked with the club by Italian website TuttoMercatoWeb.

In an interview with the outlet, Pucciarelli’s agent Fabrizio Ferrari said (translated):

“We are close to a possibility in Australia. An opportunity for both sides: for Melbourne to secure a player with experience in Italy, for Manuel to play in the Champions League.”

Ferrari’s reference to champions league football would be alluding to City’s qualification for the 2021/22 Asian Champions League, ruling out Melbourne Victory and Western United as the potential destination.

The former Chievo Verona man has been in and out of the senior squad since arriving at the club in 2017, first sent out on loan to former side Empoli and then Pescara, before most recently returning from United Arab Emirates side Dibba Fujairah without having played a single game.

Pucciarelli has amassed 136 Serie A games, scoring 16 goals and 7 assists, most of which came during his two stints with Empoli.

The Italian has been used in a variety of attacking positions over the course of his career and can play as a striker, winger or attacking midfielder. Pucciarelli’s most successful stint was as a second-striker or attacking midfielder with Empoli, but Chievo Verona tended to use him as a more advanced forward in his 46 appearances with them.

Pucciarelli would be City’s third signing heading into the 2021/22 season, following the acquisitions of Mathew Leckie and Jordon Hall.

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