Petkovic departs Sydney FC to join Westerlo

Nikola Petkovic has joined KVC Westerlo (Getty Images)

Sydney FC defender Nikola Petkovic has joined Belgian Pro League club KVC Westerlo for an undisclosed fee.

Petkovic, 29, asked for a release from the final year of his Sydney contract and the Serbian has secured a move back to Europe.

"I have had a wonderful two years at Sydney FC and I have really enjoyed being a part of this fabulous club in this amazing Harbour City," Petkovic said.

"Playing for Sydney FC and getting to know the club's fantastic members has been one of the highlights of my career and an experience I will remember for the rest of my life.

"I would like to say a huge thanks to Scott Barlow, Tony Pignata and Graham Arnold for allowing me to be take this opportunity to be closer to my family.

"I have many memories which I will always look back on with great pleasure and believe this club will go on to bigger and better things."

Petkovic's move brings him closer to his family, including his young son who lives in Serbia, and Sydney head coach Graham Arnold said he understood the defender's reasons for wanting to move.

"I'd like to thank Nikola for his two years of service to Sydney FC," Arnold said.

"I understand how hard it can be to be so far away from your family, especially when you have young children.

"He is a very good professional and I wish him all the best in his future endeavours."

Source SBS