Confirmed: huge coup as star World Cup striker joins Victory
SWEDISH World Cup star Ola Toivonen has signed for reigning champions Melbourne Victory in a huge coup for both the club and the A-League.
It has been reported that the 32-year-old striker is bound for a Melbourne-based Australian club from Ligue 1 side Toulouse.
Fox Sports reported he had sealed a switch to the Victory, and the move was confirmed by Toulouse on Friday.
With James Troisi and Keisuke Honda already signed on as the champions' marquee for the new season, it's understood the former PSV Eindhoven, Stade Rennais and Sunderland attacker is set to be included under the salary cap.
Toivonen has scored 14 goals in 64 caps for Sweden, calling time on his international career after Sweden's unlikely run to the last eight in Russia. He started each of Sweden's matches at the World Cup, scoring against reigning champions Germany.
The 192cm frontman is a high-calibre replacement for A-League record- scorer Besart Berisha, who left the club after their fourth championship to play in the J-League.
His transfer ensures Victory remain a serious contender for a fifth title after a mass clear-out of players in the off-season.
Eight senior players - Leroy George, James Donachie, Rhys Williams, Stefan Nigro, Matias Sanchez, Mitch Austin, Christian Theoharous and Berisha - left the club following their grand final win over Newcastle.
Muscat has signed German Georg Niedermeier, Kiwi Storm Roux, Corey Brown, returning defender Nick Ansell and Honda.
Adding Toivonen would return cult striker Kenny Athiu to the bench as the gangly forward prepares for his second A-League season.
The signing also suggests a gulf in ambition between Melbourne's two A-League clubs.
Melbourne City, despite the riches of parent club Manchester City, have not made a similar splash in the transfer market this off-season.
Warren Joyce has made six signings, the most recent and high profile of which has been Florin Berenguer, who left French second division club Sochaux.