Babalj returns to Heart

Melbourne Heart will be bolstered by the return of Qantas Socceroos striker Eli Babalj, who will stay with them for the rest of the season.

Eli Babalj will return to Melbourne Heart FC from Red Star Belgrade for the remainder of this season and the 2013-14 Hyundai A-League campaign.

Babalj will link up with teammates this Saturday for Heart-s round 18 Hyundai A-League clash with Western Sydney Wanderers at Parramatta Stadium, should his international clearance be processed.

Babalj, now 20, was signed as a 17-year-old for the club-s inaugural season and caught the eye of Red Star-s management following a breakthrough 2011-12 season in which he finished top scorer for the Heart with nine goals.

Babalj signed with the former European Champions and Serbian SuperLiga outfit in June last year.

However, with a portion of Babalj-s original transfer fee still unpaid, Heart exercised its right to recall the player.

“The club thanks Red Star for its cooperation in this matter,” Heart CEO Scott Munn said.

“While it is unfortunate that Eli-s foray into professional football in Serbia did not work out, we look forward to seeing him back in the Red and White of Melbourne Heart again.”

Head Coach John Aloisi said he was pleased to have former teammate Babalj as added firepower to his in-form Heart squad.

“It-s great to have Eli back; his contribution last season was outstanding and his hunger to do well and succeed is second to none,” Aloisi said. “He might be available for this Saturday-s match against the Wanderers, but if not, he will still give us a huge boost for the rest of the season.”