Besart Berisha to join Melbourne Victory

Last updated 13:55 22/01/2014

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Star striker Besart Berisha will leave the Brisbane Roar at the end of the season to link with Melbourne Victory.

The Albanian international had been in contract negotiations with the Roar for some time and it was thought he could return to his native Europe.

But the Victory has managed to secure the services of the Albanian, who will become their international marquee player for the next two seasons.

"With the salary cap we have in this league, the ins and outs of players are a fact of life," Roar coach Mike Mulvey said.

"Brisbane Roar has been aware that this was a possibility and we are committed to bringing in a quality striker for the next A-League season."

Melbourne Victory Coach Kevin Muscat was clearly thrilled at the coup.

"Besart has been performing at the highest level week-in, week-out for Brisbane and has caused plenty of headaches for opposition defenders and coaches, including myself," Muscat said.

"He's a proven goal-scorer and a player that we can't wait to welcome to Melbourne Victory.

"It's certainly well documented how competitive Besart is, and that is something every A-League fan surely admires about him."

The move will stun Roar fans, who have adopted Berisha as one of their own and made him a cult hero in the River City. 

He was a key piece of the success under Ange Postecoglou and has scored 41 goals in 65 A-League appearances.

He provided the league with one of its most memorable moments when he was adjudged to have been felled in the box during the 2012 grand final against Perth, which the Roar went on to win 2-1 after a Berisha penalty in stoppage time.

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- Brisbane Times

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