Viduka nears retirement

Former Leeds and Boro striker turns down Melbourne Heart

Viduka: Unlikely to play again

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Mark Viduka appears a step closer to officially announcing his retirement after turning down the chance to join Melbourne Heart.

The Australian striker has not played since leaving Newcastle United at the end of last season following the club's relegation from the Premier League.

He has been linked with teams back in his homeland and has most recently been approached by new A-League franchise Melbourne Heart.

However, the club's chief executive Scott Munn says the 34-year-old has rejected the opportunity and seems to have no plans to carry on playing.

Not interested

"We spoke to him about playing, but he doesn't want to," Munn said in the Herald Sun. "We didn't even get to a negotiation stage with him because we had only discussed the possibility.

"He said he's happy to keep chatting about other things, but he made it quite clear he is not interested in playing. He has his head in a different space now (away from football).

"We made sure we spoke to him and we're happy to have had that initial discussion. He's decided he doesn't want to play and we respect that decision, so it's futile to be fuelling speculation if he's not going to be involved."

Munn did, however, suggest they would welcome Viduka being involved with the club in a non-playing role.

"Some of the information he has shared with us has been fantastic," Munn added. "He is a football fan beyond the footballer and hopefully he'll continue to provide advice."

Viduka began his career in the National Soccer League with Melbourne Knights before moving to Europe in 1995 where he went on to enjoy spells with Dinamo Zagreb, Celtic, Leeds and Middlesbrough.