Brent McGrath playing for Melbourne Heart deal

The free agent could find himself playing in red and white stripes next season, but only if he can impress the A-League club during the remainder of his trial period

Melbourne Heart could hand free agent Brent McGrath a contract for the 2013-14 A-League season, with John Aloisi impressed by the striker during his time on trial at the club.

McGrath, 22, has been training and playing with Heart in recent weeks following his release from Danish club Brondby at the end of last season.

Capped once by Australia at senior level, McGrath came on for the second half of Heart's 1-0 pre-season friendly win over Oakleigh Cannons on Wednesday, doing enough to draw praise from Aloisi.

"He's been with us now for about 10 days," the Heart coach said.

"He played a little bit against Brisbane. He's a striker that we've been following. He looks like a striker that, I think, has got a future. But we have to wait and see now what the situation is with contract talks."

McGrath replaced Dylan Macallister after the break against Oakleigh, offering an indication of his potential threat when he collected a hopeful long-ball from Harry Kewell, before beating a defender and testing the goalkeeper with a good shot from a tight angle.

"He didn't do too bad," Aloisi said.

"I still think that his fitness ... he hasn't come in great condition and I told him that about seven days ago. If he'd come in better condition it would have been easier for him to play. First of all you can see that he's got the talent. With Harry putting that through ball in and he made a chance out of half a chance and had a good shot.

"His finishing's great. In training his finishing is very good."

When pressed on whether or not Heart would be keen to sign him should the two parties agree terms, Aloisi said: "We'll be talking to him."

With marquee signing Orlando Engelaar likely to be ruled out until the start of 2014 at the earliest, Aloisi is considering potential solutions, and fielded Patrick Gerhardt - who played at centre-back last season - as a holding midfielder during the second half on Wednesday.

"It is an option and it's something that we're looking at," he said when asked about the prospect of Gerhardt finding himself further forward in the season ahead.

"At the moment we have to wait and see, when Robbie gets back, what we can do there," he added, referring to another injured new recruit, Dutch defender Robbie Wielaert.

"We first brought in Patrick to play in midfield. I didn't play him a lot there last year because he was solid at the back for us and I didn't think his fitness was good enough to play in midfield. Now we're trying to get his fitness levels up so if we have to put him in midfield we can.

"I like him in midfield. He's solid, he wins the ball and he's quite composed on the ball.

"He just has to get to know the way we want to play in midfield and our movement. That will happen with more games and training playing him in there."

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