Manchester City have completed a takeover of A-League team Melbourne Heart.
City have acquired a majority stake in the Australian outfit, with the owners of rugby league team Melbourne Storm of the NRL also holding a 20 per cent share in their neighbours.
The takeover of Heart follows City's establishment of New York City Football Club in the United States last year, with the team entering Major League Soccer in 2015.
"We are excited about the opportunity to make Melbourne Heart one of the most successful football clubs in Australia and throughout the region," City CEO Ferran Soriano said in a statement on the club's official website.
"We believe the strong sports culture of Melbourne combined with the football and commercial expertise within our consortium will make for a powerful combination both on and off the pitch.
"The first thing we must do is take the time to listen and learn and then to develop our strategy for strengthening the club over time."
Heart currently sit bottom of the A-League with just one league win all season and boast former Leeds forward Harry Kewell and ex-Coventry and Barnsley striker Michael Mifsud amongst their ranks.
Bart Campbell, who is chairman of the Storm and the Heart Consortium Group said: "Partnering with City to co-invest in Melbourne Heart will further strengthen the sporting landscape in one of the world's greatest cities and bring a range of new capabilities to AAMI Park.
"We are excited to be a part of this unique project. It is our shared ambition to replicate the model that City created with the New York Yankees around New York City FC and for both organisations to benefit as a result."
The A-League has attracted the likes of former Italy international Alessandro Del Piero and ex-England striker Emile Heskey to ply their trade Down Under in recent years, and Football Federation Australia CEO David Gallop believes City's involvement can only mean bigger and better things for Australian football.
"Football has moved into the mainstream of Australian sport and is ideally placed to benefit from the boom in football across Asia," he said.
"Manchester City and their Australian partners have made a strategic investment and I welcome them to our growing competition. It's another sign that the world is taking notice of Australian football.
"Manchester City and their partners will bring a high level of expertise in football and sports business matters and that can only strengthen the Melbourne Heart and the Hyundai A-League as a whole."
Manchester City - January transfer targets
Manchester City - January transfer targets
1/15 Blaise Matuidi
PSG's powerful holding midfielder, has quietly become one of the most sought-after players in the world after a fine few years. Yet to agree a new contract with the Parisians, there is room to do a deal if City were to make a move.
2/15 Iker Casillas
One of many keepers to be linked with a switch to Eastlands as Manuel Pellegrini tinkers in the goalkeeping department. After Jose Mourinho dropped him during his final season in charge, Casillas has struggled to hold down a regular slot in the Madrid side.
3/15 Mats Hummels
While expensive, Hummels would be an excellent buy for anyone with serious ambitions of Champions League success. A regular for Borussia Dortmund last year as they reached the Champions League final, he's the sort of personality which is always welcome at the training ground.
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4/15 Eliaquim Mangala
A firm centre-back, an area desperately in need of strengthening, Mangala would be a surprise move but one worth taking. When Vincent Kompany is injured, City feel the effects and tend to fall down the league as a result.
5/15 Daniele De Rossi
Has long been linked with Man City, ever since Roberto Mancini's time in charge, but remains a viable target for the 2012 champions. After turning down rivals Man Utd in the summer, the Italian has enjoyed a wonderful year but could consider a switch in his twilight years.
6/15 Sami Khedira
Would be an astute buy for any Premier League side but would command a fee similar to that which Arsenal paid for Mesut Ozil. After suffering a long-term injury this autumn, he'd more more likely to join in the summer.
7/15 Saido Berahino
Berahino may not be an obvious choice but his talent, added to his goal at Old Trafford this season, could easily endear him to the City faithful. Having just signed a new deal with West Brom, he may have to be a long-term target.
8/15 Julian Draxler
Draxler remains one of the brightest lights of European football and will surely move to a club the size of Manchester City sooner rather than later. Despite not impressing against English opposition, his talents have alerted City's Premier League rivals this term.
9/15 Andres Iniesta
The Spaniard is another option after rumours surfaced that the midfielder would entertain a move away from Spain. While it would take something special to prize the renowned Catalan away from Barca, many European clubs are on red alert.
10/15 Toby Alderweireld
Very nearly joined Liverpool last summer but opted to move to Atletico Madrid instead. While the Spanish side may be challenging for the La Liga title today, he may be tempted by a move to England in the near future.
11/15 Angel Di Maria
Difficult to deal with at the best of times, Di Maria could be a real asset down the flanks. Having managed the Argentine at Real Madrid, Pellegrini is all too aware of the winger's qualities.
12/15 Ezequiel Garay
Was on the verge of joining Manchester United last year before, as he says, David Moyes pulled the plug. Has a point to prove. The former Everton boss may be regretting his decision but it could get even worse if City were to sign the Benfica star.
13/15 Alexis Sanchez
One of many Barcelona players who could grow unhappy with the lack of first team opportunities - much like Yaya Toure. While he is undoubtedly a quality player, Barca have an embarrassment of riches at the Nou Camp.
14/15 Asmir Begovic
The Stoke keeper's performances have been as impressive - a move must surely follow sooner or later. Linked with City two years ago, the Bosnian shot stopper would be excellent cover.
Real Madrid's Portuguese defender is finding options limited in Spain and could fancy a switch to Eastlands. Like Di Maria, he is another player who City's Chilean boss knows well.
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