Auckland City are looking into the possibility of joining the A-League as the Football Federation Australia look to add two teams to the competition.
The FFA will begin a formal process early in the new year for teams to enter the A-League and as many as a dozen expansion markets exist around Australia and New Zealand contending for what are likely to be two vacancies.
Brisbane, southern Sydney, Tasmania, Auckland, South Melbourne, Canberra and Wollongong are all candidates, among others.
Auckland City chairman Ivan Vuksich told AAP the club were in the "very early days" of looking at raising the capital.
"We'd obviously like to be involved," he said. "We've made some tentative enquiries but it's very preliminary."
It's not known if Gareth Morgan, who owns a part share in the Wellington Phoenix, is among those interested in investing but he's previously said he would be willing to stump up some cash for an Auckland team.
Auckland City would be the most logical Auckland club to be involved, having been to seven Club World Cups (they finished third in 2014), won eight Oceania Champions League titles and being six-time national league champions.
It's little surprise a number of teams are interested in joining the A-League. Crowds are up, broadcast audiences are up and playing standards are up.
Since the admission of the Western Sydney Wanderers in 2012, football dreamers have looked forward to the next entry to boost the 10-team competition.
FFA bosses have opted for consolidation over the past five years, only toying with the idea of changing the line-up at crisis moments with existing teams; most notably in October last year at Wellington's expense.
But with the Phoenix's investors backing the New Zealand side for at least another three seasons after this one, the focus now is on expansion and not replacement.
A-League chief Greg O'Rourke gave a timetable for possibly two new teams in the 2018/19 competition in a statement last week.
"A framework for expansion will be completed early next year which will allow [interested consortia] to submit expressions of interest in a framework which focuses on the viability of the the proposed franchise and its ability to provide benefits to the A-League and the game," it read.
In other words, it's game on.
As it stands right now, the A-League aspirants are at varying states of preparedness.
A well-financed Tasmanian bid, which has already met with FFA, believe it just needs the tick-off from head office to start investing and hit the ground running.
National Soccer League powerhouses South Melbourne have a champion second-tier team, a boutique stadium and a burning desire to be back among the big boys.
In Queensland, former Gold Coast United coach Miron Bleiberg believes fellow NSL winners Brisbane Strikers could be a viable force in the A-League, and is working with investors to plot a pathway into the top tier.
Had the Phoenix not continued in the competition, FFA was ready to introduce a third Sydney team encompassing the Sutherland, St George and Illawarra regions.
The choices for FFA extend further afield, with Geelong presenting a regional alternative for another Victorian franchise, while second teams in Adelaide or Perth are long-shot contenders.
No bids are expected from the Gold Coast or North Queensland, two regions burned badly by the A-League's disastrous first attempt at expansion in 2009.