Adelaide seals Sergio

Adelaide United has landed the prized signature of Sergio van Dijk after the former Brisbane Roar striker completed a lucrative deal that will keep him at the club for three years.

Adelaide United has landed the prized signature of Sergio van Dijk after the former Brisbane Roar striker completed a lucrative deal that will keep him at the club for three years.

Adelaide signed van Dijk on a short-term contract in February to aid its AFC Champions League campaign and having seen him score against Shandong Luneng last week, the club managed to fight off offers from Sydney FC and his former club to land the front-man's services.

Reds' boss Aurelio Vidmar was delighted to announce the signing, saying van Dijk's goal scoring record, tactical nous and character will greatly benefit United.

"We're really rapt that Sergio has decided to stay with Adelaide United. We believe that he is a fantastic footballer, first and foremost, and also a fantastic personality." Vidmar said.

Vidmar conceded it was a tough task to acquire van Dijk's signature but was full of praise for the striker and complimented the manner in which he handled the negotiations.

"It was hard, pretty hard work, but Sergio kept his dealings with our club and the other clubs negotiating with him in a real professional manner. Everything was pretty close to his chest, so he didn't give too much away which was great, so we had to do a little bit of digging, but I think we dug deep enough and at the end we got the person we wanted."

"You know that if you're getting a proven goal scorer like that, you know you're always going to have to dig a little bit deeper in your pockets, but that's the same everywhere in the world."

"(But) we knew exactly what we're getting with Sergio, The club's done a lot of hard work in trying to get him here the next few years," he said.

Van Dijk said the club's impressive start to the ACL campaign and his own role in it had proved an important consideration when it came to signing the dotted line.

"I can be honest with you, at first I didn't think I'd stay here for a longer term, the AFC Champions League was the main thing," said van Dijk.

"(But) the win against Shandong, having a win and a good feeling makes it easier to decide to stay."

"Since I have come here, everything, everyday is getting better ... (and) especially with this ACL group stage, at this time, that also made me decide to stay here because I also have the confidence in the team that we can get somewhere in the next couple of years."

As van Dijk formalised his arrival, several players are also leaving the club in the off season, with Kristian Sarkies returning to Melbourne after signing with the league's newest franchise, Melbourne Heart and Michael Marrone heading to North Queensland Fury for season 2010-11.

Brazilians Cristiano and Alemao are also expected to depart the Reds while striker Lloyd Owusu is another player tipped to leave.

This will no doubt free-up United's finances to allow for van Dijk and Vidmar insists there's still an option for more signings, as well as the possibility of recruiting a marquee player.

"We've still got a little bit of money in the salary cap," he said.

"That's how the salary cap works. People leave and there's a little bit of money left. There's still probably room for one or two more signings. "