Melbourne Victory boss Kevin Muscat is desperate to re-sign star play-maker Fahid Ben Khalfallah and is confident a deal will be done soon.
Ben Khalfallah continued his sensational debut Hyundai A-League season by setting up all three goals of Victory’s 3-0 win over Western Sydney Wanderers FC on Friday night.
The Tunisian is off-contract at the end of the season, with a number of clubs – both in Australia and abroad – sure to be interested in securing his services.
That interest would only have heightened following his destruction of the Wanderers but Muscat hopes to nut out a new contract for Ben Khalfallah shortly.
“He’s a very good, very talented footballer but more so he’s a good person, a gentleman,” Muscat said of Ben Khalfallah.
“Without doubt he’s someone we want to keep at the football club. Personally I’ve got a very good relationship with him and hopefully we can put it to bed soon.
“I’m very confident. There’s no two ways about it, he’s well-liked by our fans and he’s good to have in the change rooms.
“The football club wants to keep him, I want to keep him and he wants to stay so all the ingredients are there for us to do a deal so hopefully we can.”
The only stumbling block could be money, with Victory’s two marquee positions already taken through Besart Berisha and Mark Milligan.
But there’s no doubt Victory will do all they can to hold onto their prized asset, who has settled into the Hyundai A-League seamlessly.
“It’s always a difficult one when you bring foreigners as you don’t know how they are going to settle and adapt to the football,” Muscat said.
“But when you’re looking at bringing players you want to bring in, it’s someone who fits into the way you play.
“He certainly enjoys the way we play, we get him on the ball a lot and he’s dangerous. Tonight he was lethal.”
As too were Besart Berisha (two) and Archie Thompson, who benefitted from Ben Khalfallah’s brilliance by bagging the goals in the dominant win.
Berisha’s brace took his tally to the season to 11, while Thompson’s strike was his 85th career Hyundai A-League goal.
But most crucial for Victory was just getting the three points, after going three matches without a win.
“It’s an important three points for us. Coming into this time of the year everyone starts referencing tables and ladders and where you are but the reality is for our group is to concentrate on what you can control,” Muscat said.
“I could sense coming into this game there was a clear focus to be disciplined and give ourselves the best chance to take the three points.
“It was an outstanding performance from us.”
Victory, who jumped from fifth to first with that win, next take on Adelaide United in a blockbuster clash at Coopers Stadium next Saturday night.