Coveted Melbourne Victory flier Kosta Barbarouses has agreed terms to return to his roots at Wellington Phoenix next season in a deal believed to be worth $750,000 a year.
David Lewis

19 Feb 2016 - 12:13 AM  UPDATED 19 Feb 2016 - 12:13 AM
The 25-year-old New Zealand international, who began his professional career with Wellington in 2008, has accepted a multi-year contract which will make him the A-League’s third highest earner behind Sydney FC’s Filip Holosko and Melbourne City’s Socceroos star Aaron Mooy.
Phoenix have been holding off on announcing the signing ahead of the ratification of their A-League license extension, which was agreed at Monday’s Football Federation Australia board meeting, and will be officially unveiled today via a club statement.
The deal, which will triple Barbarouses's pay packet as he nears the culmination of his Victory contract, ends Phoenix coach Ernie Merrick's frantic search for a quality attacking option after missing out on Socceroos attacker James Troisi and former Melbourne City flier David Williams.
Barbarouses, in his third season at Victory, has made 78 appearances in all competitions for Kevin Muscat's defending A-League champions.
His impending exit is likely to heap more anguish on Victory’s discarded AFC Asian Champions League duo of Gui Finkler and Fahid Ben Khalfallah, who both failed to make the cut for the competition and have been angered by their omissions.
The fact that Barbarouses, who is now at the exit door, was still picked is only likely to heighten any lingering sense of injustice felt by the pair.
Fellow visa players Matthieu Delpierre and Besart Berisha were also included in Victory's ACL squad and will join Barbarouses in facing Chinese Super League big spenders Shanghai SIGP next Wednesday night.