Melbourne City officials are putting the finishing touches on a deal to bring Spanish superstar David Villa back to Melbourne on a guest contract for their run towards the Grand Final.
An inside source told FMF talks between Melbourne City and Manchester City CEO Ferran Soriano were held at a recent Melbourne City Business lunch at top restaurant Rice Paper Scissors, which attracted Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglu and Victorian Premier Dan Andrews among others luminaries.
“When David left to fulfill important marketing duties at New York City FC, there was an unspoken agreement between the City Football Group parties that if there was a realistic chance to bring silverware to Melbourne City, David should be the one to spearhead the effort,” the source said.
“When it became clear Melbourne City would make the Top 6, John Van’t Schip and members of the coaching staff approached the board and requested David be brought back as per the initial agreement. Initially their requests were rebuffed due to injury concerns but earlier this month we took the opportunity, with Soriano’s brief visit to Australia, to stress the importance of David to Melbourne’s chances regardless of his condition.”
It’s believed City officials have become frustrated with Australian marquee Josh Kennedy, who has only scored once during his stint with the club. Externally the club has supported Kennedy and his barren run, but some staff are becoming impatient with his lack of finishing quality, making Villa’s return all the more important to the club’s chances.
Villa, who scored twice in four games during his first stint at Melbourne City, was left out of New York City FC’s 1-0 defeat to Chicago on Friday with a hamstring injury, but it’s believed Melbourne City are confident that even off the bench, Villa can blast the club towards a Grand Final spot. He is slated to return to Australia on Wednesday to begin final preparations for City’s Elimination Final.