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Victory clear-out for next A-League season

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 21/04/2016 Ben McKay

Melbourne Victory winger Fahid Ben Khalfallah isn't quite over his side's cruel departure from the A-League finals but he's already moved on to his next big task.

Keeping Matthieu Delpierre at the club.

The French-born duo helped fire Victory to a title last season and Ben Khalfallah firmly believes they can do it again next season.

But Tunisian international Ben Khalfallah is still in the dark as to whether the centre-back will stay on in a winter of change at the A-League giants.

Kosta Barbaroses and Gui Finkler are already certain departures, both leaving for Wellington Phoenix, and Ben Khafallah hopes there's need to search for any further internationals.

"I definitely hope Matthieu can stay. He's the best defender in Australia," he told AAP.

"It's going to be very hard to sign another one like him."

The scale of Victory's rebuild is yet unknown but Ben Khalfallah said he believed it would mean more than half a dozen players out the exit door in the coming weeks.

In their place, he believes Victory need replacements across every part of the their team.

"I think maybe seven or eight players will leave the club," he said.

"A lot of people in the club are working very hard (on transfers) and Kevin is smart. He is going to find different, new players.

"We will bring good players and we will look forward to next season when I definitely think we can win."

With Barbarouses' departure, a spot will open up in Victory's Asian Champions League should they progress to the last eight of the competition.

Ben Khalfallah said he had his eye on the position, having missed the initial cut.

But either way, the winger will turn out for Victory before the A-League re-commences in October through the International Champions Cup.

Victory have a glamour tie with Juventus on July 23 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground and Ben Khalfallah can't wait to play against a team he grew up idolising.

"We can't wait to play against one of the giants of world football in front of a big crowd," he said.

"It's going to massive."

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