Muscat eyes new deal

Manny Muscat could be the next player to recommit to the Wellington Phoenix after he and coach Ricki Herbert confirmed contract negotiations were underway.

Manny Muscat could be the next player to recommit to the Wellington Phoenix after he and coach Ricki Herbert confirmed contract negotiations were underway.

Following the decisions by Paul Ifill and Andrew Durante to stay with the New Zealand-based A-League club, Herbert is keen to retain the services of Muscat and exciting Spanish player Dani Sanchez.

"I spoke to Manny yesterday,” Herbert said after training on Saturday.

"He's very keen to stay at the club and that's a massive positive for us. But there is still a little bit of work to go around the contract."

Muscat confirmed there had been interest from "clubs back home in Melbourne" but added: "The Phoenix is always first priority. They've been here for me from day one. I'm going to give them everything I can to see if everything works out and I can sign.

"I've been talking to the club and it's promising. It's good that (Ifill and Durante) have signed on. But I just have to weigh it up with my family now.

"My wife and I are expecting a newborn and it's not far off - it's a decision I have to make soon so I know what's happening in the future."

Muscat was plucked from the Victorian Premier League by Herbert in 2008, and his versatility has been invaluable as he has played in the back four as well as in midfield, since making his debut against Brisbane Roar in the opening round of the 2008/09 season.

"I've worked hard to get where I've got now," the Maltese international said.

"It's paid off and now the tables have turned. I was looking for an A-League club and now A-League clubs are chasing me. It's nice."