Wanderers’ cheeky pre-Derby raid for star Sydney trio
EXCLUSIVE: Saturday's Sydney Derby is set to get even spicier with the news that three more stars could cross the divide.
Fox Sports has learnt about Western Sydney Wanderers' official approach to Sydney FC to begin contract negotiations with Jordy Buijs, Michael Zullo and Alex Wilkinson.
The trio of first team stars are off contract in six months, meaning the Wanderers can and are commencing discussions to sign the players next season.
Intriguingly, Wanderers midfielder Roly Bonevacia and Buijs are friends dating back to their time at NAC Breda in Holland.
That adds further spice to the upcoming Sydney Derby, with Western Sydney struggling under new coach Josep Gombau and Sydney flying at the top of the A-League ladder.
Last season's Sydney Derby saw Vedran Janjetovic pelted with plastic snakes by Sydney FC fans after he departed westwards, with Andrew Redmayne moving in the other direction. Both players are now first choice shotstoppers at their new clubs.
Already, 12 players have made A-League appearances for both clubs.
In their inaugural season, the Wanderers signed ex-Sydney players Michael Beauchamp, Mark Bridge, Shannon Cole, Nikolai Topor-Stanley and Joey Gibbs.
Later, Antony Golec, Liam Reddy, Scott Jamieson, Brendon Santalab, Terry Antonis and Janetovic joined the Wanderers having previously played for Sydney.
Redmayne is the only player to move in the other direction.
The Wanderers have also signed two Sydney FC former youth team players, with Kearyn Baccus and Josh Macdonald both going on to make A-League debuts in red and black.
Off the field, Tony Popovic and Zeljko Kalac had previously coached Sydney FC's first team, while goalkeeper coach Davide Del Giovine and academy director Ian Crook both enjoyed full time roles with the Sky Blues.
Incredibly, in May 2016, Western Sydney even poached long standing Sydney equipment manager Joe Niutta.