Melbourne Heart striker Eli Babalj has thanked the A-League club after agreeing a deal to join Serbian SuperLiga side Red Star.
Red Star, which finished second in the Serbian top flight last season and is coached by Robert Prosinecki, has swooped for 20-year-old Babalj after the Heart striker's impressive performances in the A-League.
"I'd like to thank Melbourne Heart for the opportunity they have given me to play professional football and develop as a player over the last two years," Babalj said.
"Hopefully, one day after my European adventure, I'll be able to return to Melbourne and once again play for the Heart."
New Heart head coach John Aloisi said that while Babalj, who scored nine times last season, would be missed, the club couldn't stand in his way.
"Our club has always been committed to presenting a pathway for talented youngsters, offering the training and guidance required to give players the best possible opportunity to advance their career," Aloisi said.
"Eli's transformation over the past 24 months has been obvious to see, and we are delighted to have been able to play a significant part in shaping his growing career."It's great our members have had the chance to see Eli transform from an unknown youngster to a future international. We will make sure there are many more of them to come."
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