The two crowd favourites scored 17 goals between them in the 2011-12 campaign for Victory, but their new coach is unsure if he will have either for next season
New Melbourne Victory coach Ange Postecoglou has shed no new light on the futures of big-name players Harry Kewell and Carlos Hernandez, though he said it would be "great" to have the former in his squad for season 2012-13 of the A-League.
Australia international forward Kewell, 33, is just one season into a three-year deal, but has a clause allowing him to opt out if he wishes. Hernandez, meanwhile, is reportedly back in his native Costa Rica ahead of the expiry of his Victory contract on April 30, with little indication a new deal is likely to be agreed.
Postecoglou was asked on the futures of both attackers on Thursday at his unveiling as Victory coach, but was reluctant to give much away at such an early stage of his tenure.
"In terms of footballing side of things, any good player fits into my plans. I know people might want to assume what type of player I like but usually they are good players, and Harry is a good player," Postecoglou said of Kewell, who overcame a slow start to his A-League career to score eight goals in his maiden season.
"Obviously there are contractual issues there and with all those things, I am not going to pre-judge or pre-empt anything. Discussions will go on and obviously I'll start getting involved now and if we can come to an arrangement, it would be fantastic.
"I thought Harry was outstanding, particularly in the back half of last season, I can tell you that when Brisbane played them in Brisbane and he scored a couple of goals, I breathed a huge sigh of relief when he got subbed off."
"He's added a lot to the A-League. I think as a competition, I think that's where Melbourne Victory have played a massive role in promoting the whole comp.
"If everything gets agreed upon, it would be great to have him on board again."
On 30-year-old Hernandez, who scored nine goals in his fifth season for the club, Postecoglou said: "He is a great player and he's been fantastic for Melbourne Victory and also for the A-League, but again that's a contractual issue. As with everything, I'll deal with that from now on but we do have salary caps in this country and we are limited by funds," he said.
"The most important decisions are who I will bring in. Rather than anything else, I want to make sure I bring in some key players and to do that I need to have enough room in the cap. They are the things that come into play with someone like Carlos."