Thompson decision looms for Victory
Thompson, who is out of contract following the end of the 2014-15 season, came on as a substitute and received a rapturous reception from the home fans during a 3-0 win over Sydney FC in the Grand Final at AAMI Park on Sunday.
The 36-year-old caused something of a stir by publicly pleading for a new deal in the week leading up to the game, insisting he will play on for a rival club if an extension isn't forthcoming.
However, addressing the media in the wake of winning his first title as a coach, in just his first full campaign in charge, the former club captain offered no guarantees that a place would be found for Thompson in the 2015-16 squad.
"Archie will be treated with the utmost respect," he said.
Several other high-profile players are also out of contract, including fullback Daniel Georgievski and goalkeepers Nathan Coe and Lawrence Thomas.
The former missed the finals series after undergoing surgery to correct a nerve problem, with Muscat confirming talks over the players' respective situations will get under way when the celebrations are over.
"The conversations will be had this week," he said.
Muscat sought to deflect the praise for his achievements onto the players, hailing their physicality after a high press starved the Sky Blues of time on the ball.
"I thought tonight the players, once again, were outstanding and dominated the game and suffocated them when they had the ball, forced them into so many errors," he said.
"That's been a constant throughout the season. Tonight, on the big stage, the big occasion, we got it spot on."
The head coach also tentatively welcomed suggestions Victory, with the majority of their stars under contract beyond next season, are equipped to dominate Australian football in the coming years.
"That's the idea," he said.
"We'll tackle Asia (the AFC Champions League) with a great deal of enthusiasm next season. For the time being it's important to enjoy tonight … knowing we don't have to get up for training tomorrow morning."