Berisha eyes showdown with City’s Villa

Besart Berisha has welcomed the influx of star talent to the Hyundai A-League via Melbourne City, but insists he and Melbourne Victory are in it for the long haul.

Besart Berisha has welcomed the influx of star talent to the Hyundai A-League via Melbourne City, but insists he and Melbourne Victory are in it for the long haul.

Australian football's off-season has been dominated by news of the rebranded Melbourne City (formerly Heart) securing the services of Spanish star David Villa for a loan spell in 2014-15, with Frank Lampard rumoured to be set to join him at City after leaving Chelsea.

Damien Duff has also agreed to a one-year deal at City, with the club yet to announce their international and domestic marquees for the coming campaign.

Berisha, who was formally unveiled as a Victory player last week after moving south from Brisbane Roar, talked up the importance of more heavyweight talent being lured to the A-League.

"Of course it's good for Australian football," he said.

"And for us it's a derby and we will try of course to win it. It's good for Australian football with players like Lampard or Villa coming."

It all points to a mega-blockbuster Melbourne derby in round three of the new season at Etihad Stadium on Saturday October 25.

If Lampard does follow the example set by Villa, both players are likely to spend a 10-game spell in Australia before linking up with New York City FC for the new franchise's Major League Soccer debut in 2015.

By contrast Berisha, having signed a two-year deal with Victory as international marquee, was keen to emphasis his commitment to his new employers.

"From my point of view, from us in the club, it's important that in the long-term we are looking to be the best club. Not in a short time, we want to be (there) every year.

"I come here to Melbourne, I want to be in Melbourne for a long time. I want to show this. This is important for me."

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