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Kosta Barbarouses returns to Melbourne Victory

Wellington Phoenix striker Kosta Barbarouses
Kosta Barbarouses made 25 appearances for the Wellington Phoenix last season, scoring five goals.

Melbourne Victory have lured back striker Kosta Barbarouses after being released by Wellington for personal reasons.

The New Zealand international has joined the A-League championship runners-up on a two-year deal, having left the Phoenix last week.

Barbarouses had previously spent three seasons with Victory, including 2014-15 when they won the premiership and championship double, scoring 19 goals in 81 appearances across all competitions.

"We're extremely happy to have secured Kosta's services again," coach Kevin Muscat said.

"Kosta is a player who really complements the way we like to play and to be able to sign him for the next two years is a big boost so early in the recruiting process.

"There's no doubt in my mind that his best years are still ahead of him, so he'll be an important player as we navigate our way through a busy campaign that also includes AFC Champions League."

Wellington last week confirmed the 27-year-old had asked for a release from the second year of his contract for reasons not related to football.

Barbarouses had been in patchy form in his return to the club where he began his career in 2007, scoring five goals from 25 appearances.

"I've enjoyed some fantastic times at Melbourne Victory in the past and, when the opportunity arose to return, I jumped at it," he said.

"I'd also like to thank Wellington Phoenix for understanding my situation and the professional way they handled it."

With Barbarouses in Russia for New Zealand's Confederations Cup campaign, it's yet to be determined when he will arrive at the Victory.

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