Harry Kewell has quit Melbourne Victory for family reasons.
Harry Kewell has quit Melbourne Victory, citing personal reasons for leaving the Hyundai A-League club.
It is understood Kewell was on the verge of signing a new two-year contract, in excess of $1 million a season, but made the stunning decision to reject Victory's offer for family reasons.
It's understood the mother of Kewell's wife, Sheree Murphy, is gravely ill and he has chosen to stay by her side in England.
In a statement posted on the Victory's website, Kewell said, “It was one of the toughest decisions we-ve had to make. I enjoyed playing for Victory and living in Melbourne, but family comes first and together we made a decision that it was best for us to remain close to our family at this time.”
Melbourne Victory Coach Ange Postecoglou was understandably disappointed by the news.
“Harry-s a fantastic player and I was looking forward to working with him this season, but he has family matters that need his attention so while it-s unfortunate, I completely understand," Postecoglou said.
“We-d been working very hard to come to an agreement with him and we were extremely confident both parties were close to finalising the deal, but these things happen and we wish Harry and his family all the best,” Postecoglou added.
The news comes as a huge blow to the Victory, who have now lost two of their leading goalscorers from the previous season, following the earlier departure of Carlos Hernandez.