Sydney FC want Del Piero to stay
Sydney FC want Italian superstar Alessandro Del Piero next season and beyond, the Australian club announced on Tuesday, adding his signing was a "long-term project".
The former Juventus great last week said he was keen to prolong his stint in Australia but talks on taking up a second year option on his contract with the Sky Blues had stalled.
Sydney FC chairman Scott Barlow said the club not only wanted Del Piero for the 2013/14 season, but possibly beyond.
"We have always viewed Alessandro Del Piero's time here at Sydney FC as a long-term project and this was reaffirmed at our monthly board meeting early this week," Barlow said in a statement.
"We would like for Alessandro to remain at Sydney FC next season and we will also begin talking to him about opportunities beyond 2014."
Del Piero joined the club in September, making the 2006 FIFA World Cup™ winner the biggest signing in domestic A-League history and sending Sydney FC membership soaring.
His deal, reportedly worth €1.6 million (US$2 million) a season, was for one year with another one-year option and Del Piero had indicated he was keen to take up the second season option.
But he told journalists last week that while talks had taken place between his management and the club, there was little progress.
Barlow said there were still a number of details to be worked through, and those discussions would take place "over the coming weeks".
Sydney have had a miserable season and are currently bottom of the A-League having won just three of 11 games. But Del Piero has proven popular with fans after scoring five goals in nine matches.