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Melbourne Heart rebranded as Melbourne City

Melbourne Heart have been formally rebranded as Melbourne City and will wear a white and blue home kit next A-League season.

The club was bought out in January by the City Group, who also control Premier League champions Manchester City and will launch Major League Soccer franchise New York City FC in 2015.

The City Group's attempts to change their new club's home shirts to match the sky blue of the Manchester and New York franchises was blocked by Football Federation Australia after objections were lodged by Sydney FC.

They will instead wear predominantly white home shirt with some blue included. According to a club statement, the away kit 'celebrates the club's history, the wishes of its existing fan base and the red and white that remains at the heart of its identity.'  

"Following a lengthy consultation with the club's members, partners, the FFA and a range of other stakeholders, we believe the changes announced today will strengthen the club's ties with the community to which it belongs while expanding its ability to grow commercially and harness the many benefits of belonging to the City family," City Group CEO Ferran Soriano said in the statement.

Melbourne City will wear kits manufactured by global sportswear giants Nike next season, replacing Kappa.

News of the name change comes on the same day it emerged that Spanish star David Villa will play for the club as part of guest stint before joining New York City.