Garcia closes in on Heart deal

Richard Garcia is edging closer to a transfer to Melbourne Heart while the club's former striker Eli Babalj looks likely to remain at Red Star Belgrade despite reports saying otherwise.

Richard Garcia is edging closer to a transfer to Melbourne Heart while the club's former striker Eli Babalj looks likely to remain at Red Star Belgrade despite reports saying otherwise.

Former Qantas Socceroos forward Garcia, though, has been on trial at Heart after departing English Championship outfit Hull City at the end of the 2011-12 campaign.

But the 30-year-old has eased doubts over his fitness after several injury plagued seasons by passing a medical at the club.

While known more as an attacking utility, Garcia has been earmarked for a central midfield role at Heart and has impressed while training with the club.

Didulica said he believed some of the concern over the 30-year-old's injury history had been 'overstated', and just a few finer details remained to agree upon before the West Ham graduate signed.

"We had the medical tests on him last week, and he was in excellent physical condition, so hopefully we can finalise the deal," Didulica said.

"I don't see why there is any reason why he can't do well with us and potentially then get back into Socceroo calculation."

Heart's 2011-12 leading scorer Babalj, meanwhile, had been linked with a return to the club after the departure of Robert Prosinecki as Red Star coach on Monday and reports the Serbian SuperLiga outfit had not met the terms of his transfer.

Red Star have one payment remaining on what was reportedly an AU$600,000 deal for Babalj, and Heart football operations manager John Didulica does not expect the Qantas Young Socceroo to return to Melbourne.

"We haven't processed the transfer paperwork as yet, because Red Star still haven't complied with the terms of the transfer agreement," he told Goal.com.

"That said, we have received a large instalment from them. We're just waiting on one final payment to be received, which they've assured us is on its way.

"They've advised us that that will happen and we can only take them at their word, and hopefully it happens in the next 24 hours."