Marrone set for move to China

Melbourne Heart FC has continued to provide a pathway for promising talent, with the Club permitting inaugural right-back Michael Marrone to travel to China with the view to signing with a Chinese Super League club.

Melbourne Heart FC has continued to provide a pathway for promising talent, with the Club permitting inaugural right-back Michael Marrone to travel to China with the view to signing with a Chinese Super League club.

Marrone, 25, joined Heart in its inaugural campaign in 2010-11 and has been an inspirational and integral member of the Club in its three seasons in the Hyundai A-League.

The Club-s number two will not play in Heart-s round 16 clash with Sydney FC at Allianz Stadium this Sunday and will finalise personal conditions in China.

The defender leaves after making 70 appearances for the Red and White, making him the Club-s all-time appearance record holder, alongside Matt Thompson.

“Michael has been a great servant of the Club and has become a fan favourite,” Head Coach John Aloisi said.

“During his time with the Heart he has become one of the competition-s standout full-backs, with his performances drawing recognition from his peers and earning him a Socceroos cap last month.

“Michael has been presented with a great opportunity and the Club will not stand in his way of chasing professional football in the highly-competitive Asian market.

“Michael has always expressed his desire to play football overseas and we wish him all the best in his future endeavours.”

Marrone has featured in 13 matches for the Heart this season, with his last match on Sunday finishing on a high, courtesy of a 3-2 win over Brisbane Roar.

A marauding right-back, Marrone has been one of the Heart-s most consistent performers, while demonstrating versatility and effectiveness as a defensive midfielder.

After his first season with Heart, Marrone attracted attention from the United Kingdom from the likes of Queens Park Rangers, Charlton Athletic and Celtic, and drew strong interest from Serie A side Cagliari 18 months ago.