The hunt for Francesco Totti is over before it could really begin at Brisbane after the Roar dismissed reports they are interested in the Italian superstar.
But flattered Roar coach Mike Mulvey reckons rumours linking them with marquee names will never go away.
The build-up to Sunday’s top four A-League clash with Adelaide United at Suncorp Stadium was almost overshadowed by an Italian newspaper report that claimed Brisbane wanted Totti, sparking an online media frenzy.
“It would be great for Brisbane Roar if we could sign a great champion like Totti,” Roar vice-chairman Chris Fong said in Corriere dello Sport.
After Fong distanced himself from the comments on Saturday, Mulvey believed the high-flying lifestyle of the club’s owners the Bakrie Group ensured they had not heard the end of player rumours.
“Our owners move in circles that we could only dream of. One of the best friends of our owner is the new owner of (Italian giants) Inter Milan,” Mulvey told AAP.
“There will always be suggestions of this and that happening.
“We never close an opportunity for any player to come here but our policy is clear – we don’t speak about players we are going to bring in or who we aren’t going to bring in.”
Fong claimed he had merely been asked by the Italian newspaper for his thoughts on 37-year-old World Cup winner Totti while visiting Belgium for meetings with officials from CS Vise, also owned by the Bakrie Group.
Mulvey joked that he wouldn’t have been able to find a spot for Totti in his Roar line-up anyway.
“I checked and he is not available this weekend (for Serie A heavyweights Roma due to injury),” he smiled.
“(But) it is nice to be mentioned in the same sentence as Totti because he is an exceptional player.”
Mulvey was more concerned with the ladder leader’s home clash with a surging Adelaide United.
Fullback Ivan Franjic will help Brisbane blunt an Adelaide side that thrashed Wellington 5-1 last week despite playing all 90 minutes of the Socceroos’ 4-3 loss to Ecuador on Thursday.
Socceroos teammate Matt McKay is also tipped to start for Brisbane after being an unused substitute in the friendly.
The Roar – seven points clear of Western Sydney on the ladder – must stop an Adelaide attack bolstered by the return of playmaker Marcelo Carrusca (adductor strain).
Ryan Griffiths (shin) and Sergio Cirio (concussion) will also be considered but Bruce Djite (adductor) is unlikely.
“It’s a good gauge for us. But we are at home and we believe we are an effective team as well – we are not going to die wondering tomorrow,” Mulvey warned.