With the eyes of football aficionados focused on Europe and the circus surrounding the rise and rapid demise of the European Super League, Sydney FC have been hard at work negotiating to slide one of their fan favourites back to Australia and into a sky-blue shirt.
Adam Le Fondre is on his way back to the Harbour City to rejoin his former teammates in their hunt for an A-League threepeat as well as the AFC Champions League campaign.
Le Fondre previously arrived in Sydney in 2018, and he enjoyed two excellent seasons, winning the club golden boot in both as Sydney FC claimed consecutive championships, before the uncertainty amid the COVID-19 lockdown saw him head out on loan to Mumbai City in the Indian Super League. In India, he helped the City Football Group-owned club win the ISL-League Shield double for 2020-2021.
Le Fondre continued to follow the A-League from his temporary home in Mumbai, after his departure from Sydney with a year to run on his contract, and he found the free-flowing nature of the competition this season very appealing.
"The games have been really open and I was sat there watching and thinking 'wow, I would have scored at least 10 goals by now,'" Le Fondre told The World Game recently.
"This club and this city had an enormous impact on me and my family during my time here and I'm so pleased to be coming back," Le Fondre said as Sydney FC announced his signing.
"It's like I'm coming home, and to know I have signed for even longer than last time is a fantastic feeling.
"I've watched all of our games this season and the boys have been doing well.
"I'm looking forward to helping them step it up again and we'll be firing on all cylinders in the back half of the season."
Le Fondre's signature provides a timely boost for the defending champions.
Sydney FC boast the tightest defence in the A-League, despite the frustration of conceding late equalisers in consecutive weeks recently, but they have been less than prolific in attack -- sitting third last on the goal-scoring tally, ahead of only Brisbane Roar and bottom-but-one Newcastle Jets.
"Adam did a fantastic job for us over the last two years and I've no doubt he will do it again," Corica said.
"He will give us another huge threat up front, on top of the fabulous players we already have here. It will be one more thing for the opposition defenders to worry about.
"I'm looking forward to watching how he works with our other strikers, and it's going to make the race for the club's Golden Boot even more interesting."
Le Fondre has signed a 2 1/2-year contract with Sydney FC, but he must watch from hotel quarantine as Steve Corica takes his side up the M1 to face high-flying Central Coast Mariners on Saturday, followed by a derby against Western Sydney Wanderers next weekend.
The Sky Blues are fourth on the A-League ladder, but they could be on their way to a sixth league title if Le Fondre returns in the form that saw him net 45 goals in 68 games across all competitions in his last stint with the club.