The experienced midfielder shone in red and white last term, but is yet to sign a new deal with the club, while a move elsewhere has not materialised
Richard Garcia says Melbourne Heart have left him in the lurch with contract negotiations having stalled ahead of the A-League season.
Garcia won Heart's player of the year award last season having signed on a cut-price deal after 15 years playing in England.
Since the end of the 2012-13 A-League season, Garcia has reportedly been in his home town of Perth, considering his options after having been offered a new and improved contract by Heart but now the 31-year-old has claimed the Red and Whites have severed contact.
When quizzed on his situation last week, a Heart spokesman told Goal Australia Garcia was a "free agent", while the player himself has argued he "can't afford to wait around" much longer.
"At the moment I'm not too sure what's going to happen with me," Garcia told SBS.
"Negotiations are on hold so I'm looking for a club, really.
"We were in the middle of negotiations which were going well and then I think they had to reschedule their budget and I believe they also tried to sign another player in another position.
"So I'm still waiting for them to come back with another offer.
"But I can't afford to wait around for them to make up their mind."
Garcia was, arguably, Heart's main bright point in a tough season when the Red and Whites finished second bottom of the A-League.
Playing mostly on the right-hand side of Heart's forward trio, Garcia played 24 games, scoring six goals and setting up four more.
In June, Heart CEO Scott Munn said the Melbourne-based club had made 'a really competitive offer' to Garcia but conceded the versatile midfielder-cum-forward was still looking at what was available 'in the marketplace'.
But Garcia, who had been linked with Perth Glory and a big-money deal in China, said he was only ever interested in re-signing with Heart, although recent developments had forced him to look elsewhere.
"I thought the deal would have been wrapped up by now and I would have already been back in training," Garcia said.
"From my point of view it was always a case of 'when' I was returning to Melbourne not 'if'.
"But the about-turn became a spanner in the works and it all happened because apparently they had an opportunity to sign another player.
"But that's football, I know the business ... and now I'm back to square one."
Garcia says he cannot sign for an Asian club because the transfer window is closed, which indicates the 18-time Socceroo will look at other A-League sides or a move to Europe.