|By PADDY HIGGS
Sydney FC want to keep marquee man Alessandro Del Piero past the 2012-13 A-League season, announcing their intention to soon open talks with the Italian on his future.
Del Piero joined Sydney FC in September, signing a two-year deal reportedly worth AU$2 million a season as the A-League club beat out competition from clubs in Switzerland, England and Scotland.
Both parties are understood to have options on whether to extend the deal past the first season, with Del Piero said to be happy in Sydney despite the Sky Blues' poor A-League campaign.
Doubts had risen over Sydney FC's commitment to the deal. But after the Sky Blues board met on Monday, Sky Blues chairman Scott Barlow reaffirmed a desire to keep the 38-year-old World Cup winner at the club.
"We have always viewed Alessandro Del Piero's time here at Sydney FC as a long term project and this was reaffirmed at our monthly board meeting early this week," Barlow said via statement on Tuesday.
"We would like for Alessandro to remain at Sydney FC next season and we will also begin talking to him about opportunities beyond 2014.
"There are a number of details yet to be worked through with Alessandro's management regarding next season and these discussions will take place over the coming weeks."
Del Piero appears to have lost little of his attacking instinct, scoring five goals in eight matches for the Sky Blues.
He has been troubled by persistent hamstring soreness, however, missing two matches and starting Saturday's city derby with the Western Sydney Wanderers on the bench.