Viduka snubs Heart offer
Mark Viduka appears to have all but confirmed his retirement from football after rejecting an offer from Melbourne Heart to play for the new A-League franchise next season.
The former Australia captain has been out of the game for the last nine months since leaving Newcastle and had spoken with Heart officials with regards to a possible return with his hometown side. However, Heart chief executive Scott Munn admitted the 34-year-old has now made it clear he has no desire to return to the game and, while he has not officially announced his retirement, it appears unlikely Viduka will play again.
"We spoke to him about playing, but he doesn't want to," Heart chief executive Scott Munn said in the Herald Sun. "We didn't even get to a negotiation stage with him because we had only discussed the possibility. He said he's happy to keep chatting about other things, but he made it quite clear he is not interested in playing. He has his head in a different space now (away from football).
"We made sure we spoke to him and we're happy to have had that initial discussion. He's decided he doesn't want to play and we respect that decision, so it's futile to be fuelling speculation if he's not going to be involved."
Munn did, however, suggest they would welcome Viduka being involved with the club in a non-playing role. "Some of the information he has shared with us has been fantastic," Munn added. "He is a football fan beyond the footballer and hopefully he'll continue to provide advice."
Viduka began his career in the National Soccer League with Melbourne Knights before moving to Europe in 1995 where he went on to enjoy spells with Dinamo Zagreb, Celtic, Leeds, Middlesbrough and Newcastle United.