Del Piero choosing between Sydney and Southampton
TURIN, Italy (AP) -- Former Juventus forward Alessandro Del Piero is preparing to make a decision on his future, with Sydney FC and English Premier League club Southampton reportedly his final options.
Sydney FC chief executive Tony Pignata met for two hours Monday in Turin with Del Piero's brother and agent, Stefano, the Gazzetta dello Sport reported Tuesday.
Stefano Del Piero told the Gazzetta that the Sydney offer of a reported $2 million per season is "a valid option and a concrete proposal,'' adding that they need to "discuss details.''
Meanwhile, Southampton has offered a two-year deal worth ?1 million ($1.26 million) plus bonuses per season, the Gazzetta reported.
In Australia, the 37-year-old Del Piero would become a football ambassador, while in England he could continue to compete at the game's highest level.
Southampton could desperately use Del Piero, having opened the season with three losses to sit last in the Premier League.
Juventus announced early last season that it would not renew Del Piero's contract and he had also been linked with moves to the Middle East, China, Argentina, the United States and Switzerland.
Stefano Del Piero acknowledged meetings with Swiss club FC Sion, but Sion president Christian Constantin told the Gazzetta that "for the moment he's not ready to join us.''
Australian media reported details of Sydney's offer last week, which would make Del Piero the highest-paid athlete in Australia's four football codes, which also include rugby league, rugby union and Australian Rules football.
The A-League, which has had several teams fold in the last two years due to financial problems and dwindling attendance, needs Del Piero as a high-profile draw card.
Its other past marquee signings have been formerly England-based Trinidad and Tobago star Dwight Yorke, who also played for Sydney in 2005-06, and former Liverpool forward Robbie Fowler, who played with the now-defunct North Queensland team and Perth Glory from 2009-11.
Del Piero was a member of Italy's 2006 World Cup-winning team. He scored a club-record 286 goals in all competitions over 19 seasons with Juventus, although managed just five - and only two in Serie A - last season in limited playing time as the Turin club won its first Italian league title since before the 2006 match-fixing scandal.
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