City still trying to lock down Schenkeveld with potential exodus looming

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Warren Joyce will have his hands full keeping this City team together next season

Melbourne City coach Warren Joyce admits salary cap restraints are hindering the club's attempts to extend the stay of key defender Bart Schenkeveld - with a number of other players also facing uncertain futures.

The Dutchman, like over half of City's squad, is out of contract at season's end and he has attracted reported interest from Sydney FC.

Joyce revealing on Friday that the club is still negotiating with Schenkeveld about his future in Melbourne but conceding financial restraints are making the job of securing his services that much harder.

''Conversations are ongoing between Michael Petrillo [City's player recruitment manager], Bart and the club and they are trying to resolve the matter," Joyce said. 

"The salary cap makes it difficult in this country."

The English coach quick to point out that Schenkeveld's situation isn't unusual in the A-League nor at City.

''There's a lot out of contract in Australia," Joyce said. 

"We have got more players out of contract than are in contract. It's not just one player, it's more than half the team."

Other potential City departures over the off-season include Luke Brattan, Dario Vidosic and Eugene Galekovic with the current contracts off all three set to expire at the end of June. 

While a long-term concern for Joyce, his immediate attention must be on securing City's place in the top six this season with a crunch match against Sydney FC awaiting his men on Sunday.

Joyce will be without young trio Nathaniel Atkinson, Riley McGree and Lachlan Wales for the match due to Olyroos duty, but unlike other A-League coaches, he accepted the nature of their call-ups. 

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"There's no point grizzling about it, we want to get the best young Aussie lads here," he said.

"You either don't try to bring the best young players through and don't sign them or accept what the rule is.

"We have got three players they are three important players, but you know the rules at the start of the season. You just have to get on with it, it offers other kids a chance."

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