EXCLUSIVE: Retail therapy to ease Holt loan Heart-ache

They may have failed in their audacious attempt to loan Grant Holt, but Melbourne Heart have not given up on adding to an attack already boasting Harry Kewell

Melbourne Heart have revealed they are still in the market to sign a forward, after their attempts to bring in Grant Holt on loan were rebuffed.

Reports in the Australian media last month claimed Heart were unsuccessful in their attempts to sign centre-forward Holt on a permanent basis after failing to meet English Premier League club Norwich City's valuation of two million pounds.

Heart's football operations manager John Didulica told Goal.com Australia the club were only in discussions with the Carrow Road outfit over a loan move for Holt, who has since agreed a transfer to relegated FA Cup holders Wigan Athletic.

"We spoke with Norwich a number of times about the possibility of a loan to Australia," Didulica said.

"They were pretty adamant they wanted a transfer fee.

"It was always an ambitious undertaking. We thought that if a few things fell our way it was a chance of happening. I know it was something the player was genuinely interested in pursuing, but it's always difficult to turn your back on opportunities in the Championship and the Premiership.

"Grant was something that we thought would be a wonderful coup for the league, but we move on ... to the next target."

Heart have Mate Dugandzic, Golgol Mebrahtu, David Williams and new signing Harry Kewell to call upon in attack, although they are lacking a dedicated centre-forward.

Didulica is confident Dylan Macallister can do a job through the middle if called upon, but Heart may yet choose to re-enter the transfer market.

"Certainly we have in our mind that we want to bring in an extra attacking option, that doesn't necessarily mean it has to be a certain type of striker," Didulica said.

"We're just after someone else who can run through those key positions in attack, whether it's just behind the strikers or out wide or at the point of the attack.

"The key for us to have as much mobility in the front half as possible."

At the other end of the field, Patrick Gerhardt, youngster David Vrankovic and new signing Rob Wielaert are expected to compete for places in central defence.

Heart believe Sam Mitchinson, who made the majority of his appearances at fullback last season, can operate in the middle if called upon.

But Didulica confirmed Heart were looking at reinforcing that area, with the ideal solution an experienced midfielder who is also capable of playing in defence.

"Certainly it's something we've discussed, whether we need to bring a fourth guy in or bring somebody else in who can do a number of different roles in the back half," he said.

"Some of the guys we're looking at for a vacant spot in midfield. We're looking to see, potentially, what they can do defensively.

"The trick for us is to find another player who we think can do a role there but also, if required, do something else within the squad."

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