FORMER Sydney FC midfielder Terry Antonis was on his way back to Australia yesterday and will sign with Western Sydney Wanderers.
It is understood the 23-year-old, who has been in Greece with PAOK and then on loan this season with Veria, will sign with Tony Popovic's side and could be available for the January 14 Sydney derby against his former club.
The midfielder's last derby involvement was scoring the winner in an epic 4-3 victory for the Sky Blues in 2015.
With Vedran Janjetovic also crossing from Sky Blues to the Wanderers this season, the addition of another former Sydney star will spice up the second derby of the season.
Antonis, who was part of Ange Postecoglou's Asian Cup squad last year, has had his career stall since moving abroad, struggling for game time and with injuries in Greece's Super League.
The talented midfielder can use an A-League stint as a way of rekindling the performances that excited Australian football fans, while also adding another creative, technical option to the Wanderers' midfield.
Antonis's return to Australia continues an unfortunate streak as he pursued a career abroad.
FIFA rules prevented a move to Everton as a teenager, injury quashed a move to Parma in 2013 and then his PAOK stint, also riddled with injuries, was not helped by the fact the men who signed him - technical director Frank Arnesen and coach Igor Tudor - were both gone by February this year.
Meanwhile, A-League legend Mark Bridge is close to a return to the competition.
The 31-year-old, who left the Wanderers to play in Thailand with Chaingrai United this season, looks like returning to the A-League, where he sits fifth on the all-time list of scorers with 58 goals.
The Wanderers, who just let Kerem Bulut leave the club, are an obvious candidate given the burden now being shouldered by Brendon Santalab and youngster Lachlan Scott, with the club definitely in the market for at least one striker in the January transfer window.
Should Bridge return, he would be in a position to bring up a century of appearances for the club he joined as a foundation player, after a distinguished A-League career with Newcastle Jets and Sydney FC.
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