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Van 't Schip talks City ins, outs

After establishing Melbourne City as an A-League force this season, John van 't Schip will be busy during the break in efforts to take the club the next step.

The Dutchman lands back in the Netherlands on Thursday for a European summer that's part rest, part business and part scouting.

What he leaves back in Australia is a club that finally has an identity.

Melbourne Heart's transition to Melbourne City was complete this year when City become synonymous with free-flowing attacking football, scoring the most goals ever in an A-League campaign.

After a fortnight digesting the disappointment of another semi-final exit, van 't Schip said he was proud of the progression.

"Everybody is wary of Melbourne City now and that's important. It's good," he told AAP.

"Now fans are unhappy if we don't win or get to the grand final. That says a lot about the change."

Van 't Schip's task is building a squad to go one match further next season.

City are in flux, with a string of players already departed and several possibly to follow.

Club captain Patrick Kisnorbo leads the confirmed outs, including Alex Wilkinson, Aaron Hughes, Wade Dekker and Marc Marino.

Out-of-contract pair Michael Zullo and Nick Fitzgerald are considering new deals to stay on but are yet to sign.

The three biggest names - golden boot winner Bruno Fornaroli, Socceroo Aaron Mooy and French winger Harry Novillo - are contracted but uncertain.

Fornaroli, holidaying in his native Uruguay, will take his time and test the wind before deciding on an offer to become the club's international marquee.

Van 't Schip said he left the marksman with a strong case to stay.

"We want to keep Bruno. He's been great for the club, for the fans," he said.

"But it's also professional sport. Players maybe get other offers. I'm preparing my team that he's going to be around."

He admitted Mooy's case is slightly different, with the Socceroos midfielder a likely loss to the club given strong demand.

Mooy is understood to have offers from the Middle East and Europe and will decide after Socceroos' matches with England and Greece over the next month.

Novillo declared his homesickness last week, and is also likely to leave should interest from France turn into a concrete offer.

"I have (Novillo) in my mind to be part of the team. If not we'll work hard to get players that are good," van 't Schip said.

"He expressed his feelings and we'll see what happens."

Through the City Football Group, the club has the A-League's biggest scouting operation in action, considering talents far and wide but their first signings are likely to be A-League performers.

City are at the front of the queue to pick up Anthony Caceres, who turned out for the club on loan from parent club Manchester City this season.

Van 't Schip confirmed ex-Brisbane Roar man Luke Brattan was on his shopping list, despite him not playing a senior game since leaving Roar in October last year.

"We're interested in a lot of players who are, first of all, quality players and that have an Australian passport. Luke is one of them," he said.

City also need a captain after Kisnorbo's departure, with the Dutchman suggesting the next wearer of City's armband was already at the club.

Finally, on his own situation, van 't Schip said there was no doubt he would continue as head coach next season, saying he and CFG were "happy to continue with each other".

Van 't Schip, who turned out 41 times for the Netherlands, has one regret for his European summer; he can't cheer on the Oranje in the European Championships after they failed to qualify.

"I can watch the Euros in the Netherlands, but not see them. It's a big difference," he laughed.