Victory, Viduka in discussions
Melbourne Victory are in talks with former Middlesbrough and Newcastle United striker Mark Viduka over a possible guest player spell with the defending A-League champions.
The 33-year-old had talks with Fulham and Portsmouth after his contract with Newcastle expired at the end of last season, but his agent has confirmed Melbourne-born Viduka will return to Australia after 11 years in Europe. And Melbourne, who will participate in next year's AFC Champions League, have emerged as leading contenders with chairman Geoff Lord exploring all options while considering the salary cap restrictions in place in the Australian top-flight.
"One could use [Viduka] as a guest player, one could use him in lots of ways," Lord told The Age. "Three years ago he was appointed international ambassador to Melbourne Victory, so he has some allegiances here. We don't know what that might lead to until we explore the situation. We have talked to him about a couple of opportunities, not just playing."
Striker Archie Thompson is currently signed as Melbourne's marquee player so his wages to not count towards the league's salary cap, meaning Viduka's deal would need to be carefully negotiated, although there is scope after striker Danny Allsopp moved to Qatar earlier this month.
Viduka, who also played for Celtic and Leeds, still hopes to represent Australia at next year's FIFA World Cup™, although he ruled himself out of the last three qualifiers in June to allow him to consider his future and has not featured for the national team since the 2007 AFC Cup quarter-final against Japan.