MELBOURNE Heart are on the verge of signing an Italian midfielder as an injury replacement for marquee man Orlando Engelaar.
Engelaar, 34, broke his femur only 30 minutes in to his first hit-out as a Melbourne Heart player against Brisbane Roar last month.
The injury was severe enough to force Heart to chase a short-term replacement outside of the salary cap, with Italian Andrea Migliorini set to fill that spot.
The 25-year-old was brought up through the Udinese youth system and has had stints at clubs in the Serie B and Serie C in Italy.
He was part of the Heart squad that faced Perth Glory last Saturday, and impressed enough in his cameo for Heart to look at signing him on a short-term deal.
Coach John Aloisi heaped praise on the midfielder and reckons he’ll be a good fit for the A-League.
“Andrea played 60 minutes over in Perth after just jumping off the plane two days before hand and performed really well,” said Aloisi.
“He’s a good talented player and he grew up at Udinese so he’s got good schooling. I think he’ll do well in the A-League.”
Aloisi also said he is happy with the way the squad has shaped up three weeks out from the start of the season.
“This is it, this is the squad we are gonna have going in to the season and I’m happy with the balance we’ve got,” Aloisi added.
“Of course it’s unlucky what happened to Orlando but we’ve moved on and I’m quite happy with the strength of the squad at the moment.”
Pending paperwork, Migliorini will be announced as Heart’s final off-season signing in the coming days.