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Melbourne City continue to strengthen
Melbourne City really announced themselves in the A-League last season, reaching the semi-final stage of the Finals in their first official year, and the club are making sure they start the new campaign with a squad strong enough to go even further. Backed by the same ambitious owners as Premier League club Manchester City, Melbourne City are attempting to establish themselves as the dominant force in Australian football by similarly assembling a squad of talented players. The next big name to join the revolution at AAMI Park has been Socceroo defender Ivan Franjic, who returns to the A-League after an ill-fated spell in Russia, adding further options to City head coach John van 't Schip?s backline.
But before they can be classed as the top team in the A-League, City know they first need to cement their place as the best team in the city of Melbourne. Despite their rich owners, City came up short in the semi-finals against a Melbourne Victory side that went on to lift the A-League trophy. Expected to start next season as the betting favourites to retain their title, the reigning A-League champions will be expecting their city rivals to mount an even stronger challenge for honours. While Franjic may not be the biggest name to walk through the door during the offseason, the experienced right-back is just the sort of player City will need to sign if they are going to be genuine contenders next year.
Having left the Brisbane Roar last August in order to sign with Russian club FC Torpedo Moscow, the 27-year-old ended his stay in Europe after just eight months after terminating his contract due to unpaid wages and a lack of first-team chances. Linked with a number of A-League teams, Franjic eventually agreed a three-year deal with Melbourne City, where he'll be hoping to remind Australian football fans of just what he is capable of. The versatile defender won three A-League titles during his time in Brisbane, as well as playing an important role in the Socceroos' Asian Cup glory, and City will be hoping that experience helps his new club to similar success.