Four-year deal entices promising 21-year-old to leave A-League.
Young Melbourne Heart striker Eli Babalj has signed with Holland’s AZ Alkmaar on a four-year deal, the Australian club said on Saturday.
Babalj, 21, has travelled to Holland to undergo a medical and resolve personal terms after AZ scouts watched him play at Melbourne Heart this year.
He started to attract interest from European clubs after his breakout season in 2011-12 when he scored nine goals, propelling Heart to its first A-League finals campaign.
The striker’s potential was recognised last year when he signed with Serbian Superliga side Red Star Belgrade.
Babalj returned to Heart in January for the remainder of the A-League season.
“When Eli returned, we sat down and agreed that he could explore his options in Europe with the view to sign with a club if the opportunity presented itself,” Heart chief Scott Munn said.
“Eli has attracted attention from Europe which is testament to his calibre and character and we wish him all the best at AZ.”