Richard Garcia is reportedly interesting rival A-League clubs and those further afield, but Melbourne Heart remain keen on retaining their player of the year
Melbourne Heart have not given up on keeping Richard Garcia at the club next season even though the 31-year-old midfielder is looking for a new employer.
Garcia scored six goals and setting up four more in his 24 matches last season, before being named the club's Player of the Year at the end of the campaign.
He signed with Heart before the 2012-13 campaign amid a lack of other options, with clubs perhaps scared off by his history of injuries.
Having proved his fitness, the fringe Socceroos' price tag has risen and he has been linked with hometown club Perth Glory and a move to Asia.
Heart chief executive officer Scott Munn, however, told SEN he was confident of keeping the former Hull City midfielder in Melbourne.
"We'd love to have him for another season," Munn told the Melbourne radio station on Wednesday.
"We were lucky enough to get Richie last year, late, he wasn't able to secure a deal [elsewhere] and we've put forward what we think is a really competitive offer.
"He's still having a look around [at] what's in the marketplace and we're confident but until there's a piece of ink on a piece of paper... It's not a done deal."
After missing out on the A-League finals last season, Munn said Heart are looking to invest more money in their football department in an effort to improve their results on the pitch.
Munn, who has been critical in the past of marquee players, claimed Heart were open to bringing a high-profile player to the club if he could perform on the pitch, and also revealed coach John Aloisi would get more support in the coming season.
"We're probably going to add a few more staff around him this year and I think that's one of the most important things after last year," Munn said.
"Our board was really clear in investing more money into the football department.
"We didn't do that last year and we'll see more players, a higher spend on salaries and also [more money invested] in the football department."
Aloisi has already begun pre-season training with his squad and expects Harry Kewell and Dutch defender Rob Wielaert to arrive in Melbourne next week, but Munn has made it clear recruitment is not finished with two "big signings" still to come.
Heart are also looking forward to having winger Mate Dugandzic back involved next season after he missed most of last season with a foot injury.
The 23-year-old believes his rehabilitation is tracking well.
"It's coming along really well now," Dugandzic told Heart's website.
"I've started training with the guys now [and] last week was my first session.
"I think it's been about eight months since the injury so I am very happy with how things are progressing.
"I've been training with the boys three or four times a week, not fully yet, but it's getting there definitely."