Melbourne Heart has pulled off a double coup by completing the signings of Brazilian playmaker Fred and rising Australian strike weapon David Williams.
The creativity of Fred, 32, and the searing pace of Williams, 23, could ignite the club next season, with reliable sources close to both players confirming they have become Dutch coach John Van’t Schip’s latest captures. An announcement from the club is expected imminently.
While Melbourne Heart has thus far resisted commenting publicly, it’s understood that former Victory master of ceremonies Fred agreed terms and put pen to paper two weeks ago while the signature of former North Queensland Fury and Sydney FC flyer Williams has also been put to bed.
The arrival of Fred – famously the architect of crosstown rival Victory’s 6-0 A-League grand final demolition of Adelaide in 2007 – is likely to ignite passions between the rival clubs’ fans.
Midfielder Fred has signed a contract worth in excess of $200,000 having parted company with MLS outfit DC United, with his only other viable option the Brazilian second division.
His link play with Archie Thompson, for whom he created five goals in that epic grand final, lasted only a season at Victory before he left for America and DC United, where he has just completed his second spell.
Fred, who also played with Philadelphia Union, was briefly sighted back in the A-League in 2008 as a guest player with Wellington Phoenix before returning home for family reasons. Melbourne Heart sought to sign him last year, and it has now has its man.
Williams, who has two Socceroos caps, made four appearances during Sydney FC’s ill-fated Asian Champions League campaign having signed on a short-term deal. He was a free agent before agreeing to head south to Heart.
Over 40,00 fans are expected to fill Allianz Stadium for the Sydney derby, and the Wanderers' Youssouf Hersi says most of them will be in red and black.