SPECULATION linking Socceroos striker Richard Garcia with a switch to the A-League next season could be quelled after his Hull City boss admitted he wants to keep the Australian.
Perth-born Garcia, 29, is out of contract at Hull City at the end of this season, prompting suggestions he could be set to return to Australia.
But Tigers boss Nigel Pearson told the Hull Daily Mail he would like to keep the Australian who has been with the club since 2007.
"I am keen for him to stay but we'll see how it develops," Pearson said.
"A player has as much to say on it as the club has but I've been really pleased with his contribution during a difficult time for the club.
"He's a player who seems to get some criticism at times but he's very much appreciated both by his peers and the staff."
The Australian insisted he is not concerning himself with contract speculation.
"It's not something that really weighs on my mind," Garcia said.
"It happens in football and whatever comes, comes. It's up to you to go out there and put your best foot forward.
"I'm just concentrating on getting back playing and getting back fit. Maybe in a couple of months we can sit down and talk about it.
"It's the usual 'what will happen next year?' stuff at the moment but it's not something that's too much of a big deal."
Garcia, who played twice for Australia at the 2010 World Cup, has had an injury-interrupted campaign for the Tigers but has still made 19 appearances, scoring one goal.
The former West Ham forward recently returned from a two-month layoff due to a knee injury but has failed to break back into the Hull side, sitting on the bench in the past two games.
Garcia faces increased competition in the Hull line-up following the recent arrival of attackers Matty Fryatt, Aaron McLean, David Amoo and Tijani Belaid.