On the same day it denied a report of a move for Chelsea legend Frank Lampard, Melbourne Heart confirmed the departure of five players.
Source:
SBS, AAP
30 Apr 2014 - 1:08 PM  UPDATED 30 Apr 2014 - 4:03 PM

Defenders Patrick Gerhardt, Sam Mitchinson, David Vrankovic and Jeremy Walker have all ended their association with the club while left-back Aziz Behich has completed his loan spell and will return to Turkish Super Lig side Bursaspor.

Gerhardt, 28, played 17 times last season, Walker, 20, played three games while 21 year-old Mitchinson and 20 year-old Vrankovic were solely used in the National Youth League.

In a statment, Heart thanked each of the departing players for their contribution and professionalism and wished them all the best for the future.

With Harry Kewell retiring at the end of the season, Heart - which finished bottom of the league - has 13 players signed for the 2014-2015 season.

They are: Mate Dugandzic, Ben Garuccio, Jonatan Germano, Jason Hoffman, Nick Kalmar, Patrick Kisnorbo, Stefan Mauk, Massimo Murdocca, Iain Ramsay, Andrew Redmayne, Tando Velaphi, Robbie Wielaert, David Williams.

Western Sydney Wanderers midfielder Aaron Mooy has been touted as a Heart recruit for next season.

Meanwhile, Heart declared there was 'absolutely no foundation' to the story about Lampard and that it was not given an opportunity to comment on it prior to publication.

Since a takeover by Manchester City was announced in January, fan and media speculation has drooled over the prospect of new international and Australian marquee players.

A number of players have been linked with Socceroos Josh Kennedy and Mark Bresciano among them.

Bresciano trained with Heart recently while serving a FIFA imposed ban for irregularities over his transfer to Qatari side Al-Gharafa while Kennedy's J-League contract expires in December - well after the A-League season starts.

Heart coach John van't Schip and football director John Didulica have spent the past two weeks with Manchester City while some new faces sure to be announced once the A-League campaign has wrapped up.