Marrone set for midfield role in China

Michael Marrone has been Melbourne Heart's first-choice right-back since their debut season, but will likely return to midfield if he joins Shanghai Shenxin in China Indonesia   By PADDY HIGGS

Michael Marrone is set for a positional move if his move to Chinese Super League club Shanghai Shenxin is sealed.

Melbourne Heart' Marrone is en route to Shanghai for talks over a proposed deal reportedly worth around AU$250,000 for his A-League club.

The 26-year-old will be Shenxin's designated non-local Asian player, filling the void left by former Adelaide United team-mate Jonas Salley's departure to Guizhou Renhe.

Marrone - having joined Heart in time for the inaugural 2010-11 season - has played almost all of his career in Melbourne at right-back, and won his Australia international debut in December in defence.

But he is set for a return to midfield - having played there with the Reds - if his move to Shenxin is completed, as it is expected to be within the next five days.

"His position is defensive midfielder, and then he was asked to play as right full-back," coach Zhu Jiong said.

"Both positions are OK.  But in our team, his position would be in the midfield."

Shenxin are hopeful Marrone's arrival can help improve the club's fortunes.

Shenxin are fortunate to still have their CSL place after finishing 15th of 16 teams in 2012, only avoiding relegation due to the merger of Dalian clubs Shide and Aerbin.

"He is 26 years old, a wonderful age period in his career," a Shenxin spokesman told reporters.

"He is suitable for our team, we would like strengthen our defence and our midfield."

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