THE PROSPECT of Harry Kewell and Carlos Hernandez pulling on the Melbourne Victory shirt next season is no clearer with the appointment of Ange Postecoglou as coach.
With his position in charge of the team not set to start until next Tuesday, Postecoglou was unable to confirm the future of the two star attacking midfielders, with Hernandez currently out of contract and Kewell having left Australia with no guarantee that the club will activate the final two years of his conditional deal.
Kewell said before he left that he would wait and see on the Victory coaching position before making his mind up on his future.
Postecoglou said the biggest difference he would make would be the players he could bring in, rather than convincing existing players to re-sign.
But he also said he'd be happy to have any player of Kewell's quality available, despite chairman Anthony Di Pietro confirming that discussions between player and club are yet to be resolved.
"We're not going to discuss contractual specifics. It's just about, first and foremost, the football perspective, with any player that comes into the club," Di Pietro said.
"It's now about coming to agreement on the next step in commercial terms and that's what we are working through."
Postecoglou was positive about his desire to keep Kewell in Melbourne, but is aware of the commercial aspects of the ongoing deal being resolved.
"In terms of footballing side of things, any good player fits into my plans. I know people might want to assume what type of player I like but usually they are good players, and Harry is a good player," he said.
"Obviously there are contractual issues there and with all those things, I am not going to pre-judge or pre-empt anything. Discussions will go on and obviously I'll start getting involved now and if we can come to an arrangement, it would be fantastic."
Postecoglou praised Kewell's impact on the A-League so far.
"I thought Harry was outstanding, particularly in the back half of last season, I can tell you that when Brisbane played them in Brisbane and he scored a couple of goals, I breathed a huge sigh of relief when he got subbed off," he said.
"He's added a lot to the A-League. I think as a competition, I think that's where Melbourne Victory have played a massive role in promoting the whole comp. If everything gets agreed upon, it would be great to have him on board again."
Postecoglou was less effusive about Hernandez, giving an indication that a tight salary cap and his own desire to inject fresh blood into the side might work against the Costa Rican remaining with the club.
"He is a great player and he's been fantastic for Melbourne Victory and also for the A-League, but again that's a contractual issue. As with everything, I'll deal with that from now on but we do have salary caps in this country and we are limited by funds," he said.
"The most important decisions are who I will bring in. Rather than anything else, I want to make sure I bring in some key players and to do that I need to have enough room in the cap. They are the things that come into play with someone like Carlos."