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OFFICIAL: Bozanic leaves Victory for Ventforet Kofu

Goal.com logo Goal.com 16-03-2017

J.League club Ventforet Kofu have signed Oliver Bozanic from Melbourne Victory pending the completion of a medical by the Australian midfielder.

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Ventforet announced the transfer of Bozanic in a statement on their website on Thursday and he is expected to start training with Satoru Sakuma's side on Friday.

Bozanic's departure from Victory is expected to help the A-League club retain James Troisi by offering the latter an increased salary as one of the Big V's two marquee players.

Troisi's contract expires at the end of the campaign and the 28-year-old attacking midfielder has been in scintillating form in his second stint at Victory, scoring six goals and notching six assists, which has led to his selection in the Socceroos' latest squad.

Bozanic leaves Victory 15 months before his contract was set to expire, with the ex-Central Coast Mariners midfielder having signed a three-season deal in September 2015 just over a year after he was part of the Socceroos' squad at the 2014 World Cup.

Bozanic jumped at Victory offer

The 28-year-old was effectively signed to cover the exit of ex-Victory captain Mark Milligan but Bozanic struggled to meet that standard or live up to his marquee billing in his 48 A-League appearances under coach Kevin Muscat.

Bozanic leaves Victory with five goals and one assist during his two A-League seasons at the club.

Muscat hasn't started Bozanic in three straight A-League matches, including leaving him out of Victory's squad altogether for last week's 4-1 win over Perth Glory that sparked speculation he was on his way to Japan.

A former Reading youth player, Bozanic's career took off at the Mariners from 2010-13 when he won an A-League premiership and championship with the Gosford-based club.

Oliver Bozanic leaves Luzern

Bozanic moved to FC Luzern in June 2013 where he played 51 games in two seasons in the Swiss Super League - earning the nickname 'Crocodile Oli' before returning to Australia with Victory.

Ventforet sit 16th of 18 clubs in the J.League table after three rounds.

Bozanic will be the fourth Australian on a J.League club's books this season alongside Nathan Burns (FC Tokyo), Milos Degenek (Yokohama F. Marinos) and Mitch Duke (Shimizu S-Pulse).

Victory could only sign a replacement player this season if they recruited a free agent that was without a club in the January transfer window.

More: Melbourne Victory must be better for longer to win A-League - Muscat | Ben Khalfallah's return sparks Victory's formidable attack | Melbourne Victory 4 Perth Glory 1: Berisha keeps hosts in title race

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