Relegation-threatened NPL Victoria outfit Dandenong City are set to splash the cash on three A-League veterans in a desperate bid to avoid the drop.

FNR understands that Perth Glory striker Brendon Santalab, Melbourne City goalkeeper Eugene Galekovic, and former Melbourne Victory captain Adrian Leijer have all been offered lucrative deals to sign on until the end of the season.

Backed by concreting giants I&D Group, the newly-promoted club are currently sitting second last on the table, with only seven points from their first twelve games.

Their poor form has already cost head coach Zeljko Kuzman his job, replaced by former NSL midfielder Ante Moric, with 22-time Socceroos defender Sasa Ognenovski coming in as technical director.

While Santalab and Galekovic are coming off contract at the end of the A-League season, Leijer announced his retirement in January, departing K-League Challenge side Suwon FC to return to Australia and take up a senior marketing postion at Adidas.

The opportunity to return to the pitch has taken him by surprise.

“It’s something that’s sort of come up out of the blue, to be honest,” Leijer told FNR’s Geelong Region Soccer Show on Tuesday night.

“I’ve been keeping myself reasonably fit, just because I wanted to.

“One of my best mates is the assistant coach, and said ‘come on mate, we need your help’.

“I’m training with Dandy City at the moment. I’ve done a couple of sessions and I’m still deciding whether or not to go on with it.

“I’ve had such a long time out of the game. It’s hard to pull the boots on and get going straight away, so I’m currently contemplating it.”

The club will be sweating on Leijer’s final decision, as NPL survival could well depend on their star mid-season recruits.

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Josh Parish
josh@footballnationradio.com.au