Bruno Fornaroli joins Tony Popovic's Perth Glory project
Tony Popovic's vision for Perth played a major role in luring ex-Melbourne City striker Bruno Fornaroli to the Glory.
The A-League leaders confirmed on Friday the Uruguayan will join the team for the next two A-League seasons following his release by City earlier this year.
The signing ends a saga which first emerged in November when City coach Warren Joyce dropped Fornaroli before an A-League clash with Brisbane.
Glory were immediately interested in signing the 31-year-old but were rebuffed by City, who waited until February before releasing Fornaroli to prevent him playing for another A-League club this season.
The goalscorer said Glory coach Popovic had convinced him Perth was the best option for his future.
"When the coach called me and say to me the idea of how he wants to play, the idea of the club for the future, is amazing," Fornaroli said.
"This made the difference for me and this is why I want to play for this team.
"[Popovic] was the first one to call me and ask me if I really want to come. If I believe the project. If I want to be part of this.
"I'm where I want to be."
Fornaroli joined City as an unknown journeyman in 2015 and set an A-League record for goals in his debut campaign.
An broken ankle suffered in the FFA Cup prior to the 2017-18 season derailed his momentum at City and despite coming back from that injury, he was axed after City staff took the view that Fornaroli lacked fitness and commitment.
Glory owner Tony Sage said Fornaroli's acrimonious exit from City didn't sway them from their pursuit.
"No. I have trust in Poppa. He's the one that came to me first with the scenario," Sage said, adding they had been chasing Fornaroli's signature for two to three months.
"Tony will have the strength obviously with all the players to get Bruno 100 percent fit."
Fornaroli's likely first match for the Glory will be their friendly with English giants Manchester United at Optus Stadium on July 13.
Sage said he was also hopeful Fornaroli and Irish striker Andy Keogh will acquire Australian citizenship ahead of a likely AFC Champions League campaign for the Glory next season.