New Perth Glory coach Richard Garcia expects Bruno Fornaroli to remain at the A-League club despite whispers Melbourne Victory could pounce on the star striker.
Fornaroli has one season to go on his two-year deal but there had been recent rumours that Victory could try to poach him.
That’s news to Garcia, who is expecting to have Fornaroli on deck for the club’s Asian Champions League campaign and the next A-League season.
“Bruno is very happy here and we’ve made him aware that he’s a wanted player,“ Garcia said.
“He’s part of the plans going forward.”
In another big boost for Glory, star Spaniard Diego Castro has confirmed he will stay on despite a recent bitter rift with the club’s hierarchy.
Castro’s future was in serious doubt when he decided against taking part in the club’s NSW hub to finish off the 2019-20 season.
Owner Tony Sage said Castro had refused to play because he didn’t want to take a pay cut, but it seems the waters have since been smoothed.
Castro was among the players to turn out for the first day of pre-season training on Monday, and Garcia was excited to have the 38-year-old star back on deck.
“A lot of the misunderstandings have been ironed out,” Garcia said.
“It was just about sitting down with Diego and discussing what we thought was his future going forward and the same with him also speaking on his behalf about what he thought.
“Diego is a fantastic player, one of the best in the league’s history, and definitely in the club’s history.
“So to have someone like him around is always a fantastic boost for the whole club.”
Glory’s list of contracted players now stands at 14 after they confirmed the return of veteran striker Andy Keogh and midfielder Brandon Wilson.
The club will make more announcements in the coming weeks before the restart of their ACL campaign, which kicks off against Shanghai Shenhua on November 18 in Qatar.
Socceroos striker Chris Ikonomidis is still sidelined after tearing his anterior cruciate ligament in February last year.
The 25-year-old is doing his rehabilitation in Sydney, and is expected to make a playing return in January.
“Chris has been over there for a little while, just a change of scenery to have a little bit of head space as well,” Garcia said.
“Being a player that had long-term injuries myself, I understand it’s hard to be in the same place and watch others train and play around you when you’re not able to.”