Former Socceroos midfielder Richard Garcia has been named Perth Glory's new coach on a two-year deal, and he's keen to retain the services of Diego Castro.
New Perth Glory coach Richard Garcia is keen for Diego Castro to stay, with the club vehemently denying they threatened to get the star Spaniard deported.
Garcia has been signed on a two-year deal, with his support staff set to be announced at a later date.
The 39-year-old former Socceroo takes over from Tony Popovic, who departed earlier this month to take up the head coach role at Greek club Xanthi.
Castro's future has been a hot talking point ever since he refused to join his teammates in the NSW hub to finish off the A-League season.
Glory owner Tony Sage claimed Castro decided against playing after being told he would need to take a pay cut.
A report emerged in recent days that the club wanted to sever ties with Castro and get him sent back to Spain.
Glory chief executive Tony Pignata strongly rejected that claim.
"With Diego, his visa expired over that period he wasn't playing with the club. In actual fact we had to reapply for his visa, which we did," Pignata said.
"So at no time the club was going to deport him. Geez, we don't have the authority to deport anyone.
"So we're in the process of doing his visa. We've got a bridging visa. Him and his family are here in Subiaco. So there's no talk of deportation."
Castro is one of the best players to have ever graced the A-League, and Garcia wants him to stay.
"Who wouldn't want to have Diego Castro in their team?" Garcia said.
"He's a fantastic player and he's done very well for the club."
The chances of new recruits Andrew Nabbout and Nathaniel Atkinson joining the club appear slim.
The duo, who signed on for two-year deals, are yet to arrive in Perth.
Pignata confirmed the pair haven't been paid for the past fortnight, saying there's no point paying them if they might never arrive.
"That is a tricky issue. To get people across from Victoria is basically a hard no," Pignata said.
"Andrew wants to bring his family and children
"It's going to be hard to get them across in a time frame that we need at the moment. I've been dealing with the WA Police to see what we can do.
"We can't sit this out for six to eight weeks. We'll come to a solution. And if it means that Andrew and Nathaniel don't come, then so be it, we move on."
Pignata said it was unlikely Popovic's sons - Gabriel and Kristian - would stay at the club.
It means if Nabbout and Atkinson don't arrive, Glory will be left with just 13 contracted players. That number will drop to 12 if Castro doesn't see out the final year of his deal.
As it stands Glory players are receiving 75 per cent of their wages, but the club is prepared to stand down any players who don't agree to a pay cut in the new COVID-19 environment.
Earlier this week, players across the league rejected the proposal by club owners of a 30 per cent pay cut in a new collective bargaining agreement.
The uncertainty surrounding the A-League means Garcia faces a tough and uncertain start to his coaching career.
Garcia, who represented West Ham and Hull City in the English Premier League and also played for the Socceroos at the 2010 World Cup, says he will embrace the challenge.