Melbourne City has announced the signing of experienced Italian attacking midfielder Manuel Pucciarelli, who joins the club on a two-year deal.
There was much speculation on which Victorian-based A-League outfit Pucciarelli would land at after his agent Fabrizio Ferrari confirmed last week there was interest from one of the clubs to sign the Italian.
City officially announced Pucciarelli this morning, with the playmaker signing until the end of the 2022/23 season.
Having signed Matthew Leckie and re-signed Jamie Maclaren already in the offseason, City have added another dimension to its attack with Pucciarelli, who has played as an attacking midfielder, second striker and a left winger throughout his career.
The 30-year-old made 136 appearances in Italy’s Serie A, appearing for both Empoli and Chievo Verona, where he scored 16 goals and had seven assists.
He also made 78 appearances in Italy’s second tier Serie B, where he scored 10 goals and also made seven assists.
After spending the majority of his career in Italy, Pucciarelli most recently played for UAE outfit Dibba, where he played nearly 20 matches until the season was suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
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Melbourne City FC Director of Football Michael Petrillo says the new signee has all the traits, believing he will be a fan favourite at the club.
“Manuel is a really talented player, he has excellent technical skills to play as a midfielder but also the sharpness to play as an attacker, which makes him the ideal player for our squad,” Petrillo said.
“We took our time in making this choice, not only were we looking for these attributes, we also want a player with the ability and desire to work hard in and out of possession, which is a vital for the way we play football.
“I’m confident the fans will enjoy watching Manuel as a player. Adding a player of his calibre, on a multiyear deal, shows the Club’s ambition to not only build on last season’s success, but also continue to add stability and bring in players that can play our attacking style of football.”
Pucciarelli also commented saying he’s looking forward to the upcoming season and that the club is a right fit for him.
“I’m very excited about joining Melbourne City FC, I’ve heard a lot of good things about the club and it’s always special to join the Champions of the A-League,” said Pucciarelli.
“I’ve spoken to Michael [Petrillo] and Patrick [Kisnorbo] about the style of football that City plays and the quality of players in the squad. There are talented players across the whole pitch and City plays a style of attacking football that suits the way I like to play.
“I’m looking forward to living in Melbourne, joining my new teammates and meeting the fans of the club.
“I want to be part of a team who defends its A-League crown.”
With Melbourne City’s preseason already commencing, Pucciarelli is expected to join squad in mid-October after completing his hotel quarantine.
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