SYDNEY (AP) – Blackburn Rovers midfielder Brett Emerton has signed with A-League club Sydney FC and is set to leave his Premier League side with a year remaining on his contract, Australian media reported Thursday.
The 32-year-old Emerton signed a three-year deal after passing a medical test in Manchester on Tuesday after terminating his Blackburn contract by mutual consent, various media outlets reported.
Neither Blackburn nor Sydney FC have confirmed the move, but in a Twitter post the Australian club said it would soon make ''a major announcement regarding an exciting addition to the Sydney FC squad for the 2011/12 season and beyond.''
Blackburn manager Steve Kean said after Wednesday's League Cup win over Sheffield Wednesday the prospect of losing Emerton would be ''very, very sad.''
''If Brett does move it will be a family decision, not a football decision,'' Kean said. ''If Brett decides it's something he'd like to explore, you've got to give respect for the service he's given the club.''
Emerton is expected to make his 248th and last appearance for Blackburn against Everton on Sunday.
His signing comes less than a week after rival A-League side Melbourne Victory signed fellow Socceroo and former Liverpool and Leeds star Harry Kewell.