A-League clubs' search for bargain buys is set to continue well beyond Boxing Day with teams desperately seeking high-profile guest players who could remain as marquees for next season.
Struggling to attract star players, clubs could use the short 14-game guest player window as the start of a long-term stint by then signing players on second-year deals as marquee players.
Several clubs are eager to raise the profile of the competition and improve their own fortunes for the remainder of the season with the signing of star players, such as Ronaldinho and Michael Essien who have been linked with moves to Australia.
The league is in dire need of a boost to its profile with crowds and television ratings dropping since SBS moved Friday night A-League games to SBS 2, leading to an average audience of just 78,000 viewers. Football Federation Australia is keen for clubs to sign a known player to address that situation but have strict regulations on who qualifies as a guest player.