Alessandro Del Piero’s uncertain future in Australia could be close to being resolved, with the former Italy striker pledging his support for struggling Sydney FC.
The 38-year-old former World Cup winner arrived at the club to much fanfare this season but has failed to prevent Sydney’s plummet to the foot of the A-League.
But with negotiations to take up the option to extend his lucrative one-year deal dragging on, Del Piero appeared keen to dismiss rumours he would leave at the end of the season.
"Everything is clear for me and the club," the former Juventus forward, who has struggled recently with a hamstring tweak, told local media on Wednesday.
"We can do earlier than we think about the contract. It’s not a stress here for me. I want to put all my knowledge and my heart into games."
Del Piero asserted his management team, including brother Stefano, were working hard on negotiating a second season at the A-League side.
"My brother talks about that," he said of his contract.
"It’s his problem, not mine.
"I’ve spent a really good time here. At the moment the best thing for me, the club and for teammates and everyone here is to concentrate about the games.
"We have to put all of our energy, mentally and physically (into games)," added Del Piero, a World Cup winner with Italy in 2006.
"Not about other things. I’m really enjoying it here. Now we have to win a couple of games for more enjoyment."
Del Piero’s signing was hailed as ground-breaking for the A-League but the expectations heaped on the club as a result led to the resignation of former manager Ian Crook.
Sydney have won just three times this season but Del Piero, making A$2 million ($2.07 million) a year, vowed to fight on.
"This is our moment," he said. "We have to jump over this moment with heart, with fight and pressure and a little luck for us."