Change of Heart
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Nikola Petkovic is on the cusp of signing a new contract with Sydney FC while Tiago Calvano became the fourth player released by the club since the start of the season after his contract was terminated by mutual consent on Wednesday.
Petkovic has been one of the club's standout performers this season having played every minute of the season in the heart of Sydney's defence and Fairfax Media understands that he is close to being rewarded with a new deal.
The Serbian defender is in the final months of his deal with the Sky Blues and is close to reaching an agreement. The 27-year-old arrived at the club in the latter stages of the pre-season and became an immediate first-team starter despite limited preparation with his new club.
Last hurrah: Tiago Calvano is moving on. Photo: Getty Images
Sydney are believed to be eager to secure the former Serbia youth international beyond this season, and a new deal is expected to be signed within the next few weeks.
Petkovic's former defensive partner, Calvano has been granted an immediate release from Sydney FC by mutual consent in order to pursue a move to the United States. Calvano, 32, is understood to have received an offer to join a club in the North American Soccer League, the continent's second-tier competition and was given the green light by Sydney to complete the deal.
Calvano was in the final year of his contract with Sydney FC and requested an early termination due to the uncertainty of his future with the club.
The Brazilian central defender has not played since Sydney's 3-2 win over Melbourne Victory in round five after receiving a total 10-game ban as a result of a direct red card followed by a separate eight-match ban for unsporting conduct towards a referee. He was eligible to play again in Sunday's 5-0 win over the Victory but was overlooked for a place in the match squad.
"My contract is finished here in May and I felt it was going to be difficult to stay, so I chose the best option for myself and my family," Calvano said. "I feel a little bit sad because I really enjoyed my time here at Sydney FC. Spending time with my teammates and the staff at the club was great but that's football. We are like a family but the positive thing is I can get a contract for one year, with the option of one more."
Calvano joined Sydney early last year as an injury replacement player before signing a permanent deal before the start of this season. He made 12 appearances for the club.
"Tiago has been a model professional for us and has been a pleasure to work with," Sydney FC coach Frank Farina said. "This was a good opportunity for him and we didn't want to stand in his way. I wish him every success with his future career."
Calvano's departure opens the door for Sydney FC to sign former Shimizu S-Pulse and Suwon defender, Eddy Bosnar. The 33-year-old Australian defender is searching for a move to the A-League after 13 years abroad and has spent the past week training with the Sky Blues.