Veteran forward Harry Kewell has joined Melbourne Heart on a one-year deal, returning to the A-League almost a year after departing city rivals Victory
Melbourne Heart's courtship of Harry Kewell has finally paid off, with the veteran forward signing a one-year deal at the A-League club.
With the announcement coming just under a year after departing city rivals Melbourne Victory, Kewell will arrive back in Australia on July 1 to begin his stint with Heart.
Heart chief executive officer Scott Munn told Fox Sports talks had been ongoing between the club and the 34-year-old "over the last six to eight weeks".
A deal was finalised when a club delegation flew to the United Kingdom last week to meet with Kewell, with Munn delighted to announced the "fantastic news" on Wednesday.
Kewell will not be a designated marquee player, with the club confirming he would be paid within the salary cap.
"He sees that he's got some unfinished business [in the A-League] and, while he probably says he finished the [2012-13 season] reasonably well, he certainly thinks he can start the year on a high here," Munn said.
"... Round 1 against Melbourne Victory is going to be something really special."
Former Leeds United and Liverpool forward Kewell has played just three games since leaving Victory - in a short-term stint with UAE Pro League club Al Gharafa - but has "no problems at all" with his fitness, said Munn.
"When he came here previously, he came in very late - just before the season started - and it took him a while to get going," he said.
"But for us, arriving on the first of July, he was keen to do that. He's really fit and has no injuries so looking forward to him getting in."
Via club statement, Kewell hinted the presence of former Australia international team-mate John Aloisi as Heart coach had been integral to his signing: "It's always been my intention to come back and play in the A-League," Kewell said.
"John Aloisi and I have known each other a long time and we have played together, so I'm thrilled to be part of Melbourne Heart at an exciting time."
The signing is part of an aggressive off-season recruitment campaign for Heart, who have also targeted Norwich City captain Grant Holt in a bid to bolster both performances and crowd numbers.