Having signed a two-year deal when he returned to Victory ahead of the 2019/20 season, Kruse is one of four players – the others being Marco Rojas, Migjen Basha and Leigh Broxham – at AAMI Park who are contracted to return next season.

However several of his teammates are believed to have signed contracts with other clubs, including James Donachie who has already confirmed a move to Newcastle Jets.

This potential player exodus is also set to coincide with a new coach after the departure of both Marco Kurz and Carlos Salvachúa during the current campaign.

Interim Head Coach Grant Brebner has already ruled himself out of contention for the gig, who sees his temporary role as a learning experience that will continue under a newly appointed gaffer.

Victory began their search for their next permanent Head Coach in early May, with CEO Trent Jacobs declaring that – despite the challenges COVID-19 presented to recruitment – both international and domestic candidates would be considered for the role.

However, with the A-League set to undergo cost restructuring next season, Kruse says the flexibility afforded by the lack of outstanding contracts could leave Victory better off than other clubs. 

 “The obvious [question around COVID-19] is what impact this is going to have on the salary cap and whatnot for next season," he said today. 

“So in saying that, I think we’re in a better position than possibly Sydney depending on what’s happening for clubs which have full squads and a full quota signed up. It’s going to be difficult if things are changing.

“We have the time to adjust to what’s going to happen in the future and hopefully make the right decisions there.

"With the new coach, it’s always difficult, you want to make sure you get the right person.

“I think the process that the club uses is going to be very important. Obviously this season hasn’t been the greatest on the pitch or off the pitch. I think collectively the club needs to hopefully find the right person to take over.