Sydney FC have reportedly nudged A-League rivals Melbourne Heart out of the way to sign Socceroos skipper Lucas Neill for the rest of the season.
The 34-year-old looked certain to join Heart earlier this week after being released by United Arab Emirates club Al Wasl a fortnight ago.
But a late bid by the Sky Blues swayed the veteran defender to move to Sydney, according to News Limited on Saturday.
Neill can look forward to a feisty reception in Melbourne next Sunday when he is likely to be cleared to play his first A-League match against the John Aloisi-coached Heart.
It is a timely boost for Sydney FC, who sit on the edge of the top-six with seven matches remaining before the finals.
Neill will now line up alongside Italian superstar striker Alessandro Del Piero and Socceroos teammate Brett Emerton to add plenty of experience to an otherwise youthful squad.
Capped by Australia 89 times, it is understood Neill has been told by Socceroos coach Holger Osieck he must be playing regularly to be guaranteed a starting spot for crucial upcoming World Cup qualifying matches.