Melbourne Victory trade A-League defenders

Nick Ansell (L) and James Donachie Source: Getty Images

Melbourne Victory are swapping one A-League championship-winning defender for another, bringing James Donachie back to the club with Nick Ansell heading for the exit door.

Donachie, who left for South Korean side Jeonnam Dragons after helping the club to last year's title, has been training with Victory and is just a piece of paperwork from returning on loan for the rest of the season.

Ansell is joining the same club in what Victory say is an unrelated deal.

Coach Kevin Muscat will believe he's traded up, given Donachie's more recent heroics for the club and improved reliability.

Ansell, 24, re-joined Victory after a similar short overseas adventure - one season with Portuguese club Tondela.

But he failed to tear down any trees in his second stint at AAMI Park, managing five starts this season.

Both men are unlikely to be available for Saturday's Big Blue.

Ansell is still injured with a hamstring issue and Donachie's paperwork is yet to be finalised.

Donachie, 25, made 10 starts in the K-League for Jeonnam, which lost their last seven games and were relegated to the second tier of Korean football.

The ex-Brisbane Roar defender will battle with German Georg Niedermeier and fringe Socceroo Thomas Deng, as well as stand-in stopper Leigh Broxham, for a centre-back role.

Source AAP