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Behich signs with Bursaspor
29 Jan, 2013 8:36 AM GMT
Full-back Aziz Behich has left Melbourne Heart to join 2010 Turkish Super Lig champions Bursaspor for an undisclosed transfer fee.
Heart announced on Tuesday that they had agreed to the transfer of the Socceroos defender and he will available for Bursaspor's clash against Turkish giants Galatasaray this weekend, pending an international clearance.
Behich, 22, made his A-League debut for Melbourne Victory in 2010, making five appearances, before being signed by Heart later in 2010 on an seven-week contract – which was then updated to a full-time contract.
"To make a move to a club that plays Champions League football is a dream come true and I really can't thank Melbourne Heart enough for giving me this opportunity," Behich said.
"I have loved my time at Melbourne Heart and all the support that I have received from the members since I joined.
"I will miss them and miss being around my old team-mates."
After being converted from a winger to a full-back, Behich established himself a first-team regular at Heart, winning his first Socceroos selection in November 2012 and named in the PFA Team of the Year the same year.
Heart coach John Aloisi was shattered to lose Behich at a crucial time in the season but proud of his rise since joining the club.
"To take Aziz from the state leagues of Victoria to face the likes of Didier Drogba and Wesley Sneijder is something Melbourne Heart can be enormously proud of," he said.
"It hurts to lose him at this stage of the season but how can you stand in the way of a player fulfilling his dreams.
"It's a great opportunity for the club to continue to grow and a chance for Aziz to establish himself as a genuine international for Australia."