The Covert Agent: Terry Antonis set to sign with Melbourne Victory after Melbourne City swoop fails

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EXCLUSIVE: Goal's resident spy reveals the former Sky Blue midfielder is likely to sign with Victory, but not on a loan deal

Melbourne Victory are close to securing the signing of former Sydney FC star Terry Antonis on a permanent contract after fighting off competition from their derby rivals Melbourne City.

The Covert Agent can reveal City's last-ditch bid to snatch Antonis from under Victory's noses failed, with the 24-year-old set to sign a multi-year deal contract with Kevin Muscat's side - not on a loan deal as was originally reported.

It's believed Muscat is keen to start rejuvenating the Victory squad for next season, particularly in the centre of the park, with the strong possibility four senior midfielders won't be at the club next season.

It's understood marquee Mark Milligan is keen to pursue an overseas move while captain Carl Valeri is likely to retire. Argentine midfielder Matias Sanchez hasn't particularly impressed so far and Leigh Broxham has struggled with injury.

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Antonis signed for Dutch Eredivisie club VVV Venlo at the beginning of the European season but is yet to play a minute in the league despite being on the bench 16 of 18 matches.

The midfielder made his debut for the Sky Blues as a 16-year-old and went on to make 69 league appearances for the club.

After a failed move to Greek side PAOK, Antonis returned to Australia last season and played 14 games for Western Sydney Wanderers before deciding to head back to Europe.

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