Melbourne Victory lose Adama Traore

An important first-team player, the Ivory Coast-born fullback has opted to move on, leaving the club plenty of work to do if they are to find a suitable replacement

Melbourne Victory have suffered an early blow in their attempts to build a squad capable of challenging for the 2014-15 A-League title, with Adama Traore declining to sign a new contract.

The 24-year-old fullback had been one of the club's most consistent performers since joining from Gold Coast United ahead of the 2012-13 campaign.

According to the club, Traore wishes to pursue an opportunity to play in Europe.

His departure leaves Victory with work to do to reinforce their backline, international marquee centre-back Pablo Contreras having retired after one season at the club.

"Adama has been an important part of our defensive unit for the past two seasons and everyone at Victory was certainly keen to see him remain at the club, but despite our best efforts, that won't be the case," head coach Kevin Muscat said in a statement.

Victory have seen Socceroos Tom Rogic and James Troisi return to their parent clubs after loan spells.

And while Besart Berisha is set to arrive from Brisbane Roar, key playmaker Guilherme Finkler is yet to agree a new deal.

Stalwarts Archie Thomspon and Adrian Leijer have both recommitted to the club.

But Victory are sure to face another tough fight to keep captain Mark Milligan, who was close to joining Crystal Palace last year and has also been the subject of interest from the Middle East in recent years.