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A-League side Melbourne Victory sign Spanish defender Alan Baro

Ponferradina defender Alan Baro
Ponferradina defender Alan Baro, left, up against Real Madrid's Gonzalo Higuain in 2011.

Melbourne Victory have again looked to the continent for a defensive leader, signing Spaniard Alan Baro on a one-year A-League deal.

Baro, 31, joins from Spanish second-tier club Ponferradina as a replacement for departed A-League winner Matthieu Delpierre.

Victory have described the centre-back as a versatile, skilful and durable player who can also play as a holding midfielder.

Given the rest of Victory's defenders are aged 23 or younger, coach Kevin Muscat said a wiser older head in the back four had been identified as a priority.

"It's been a work in progression for a little while and we're very pleased," he said on Monday.

"We identified Alan as a player who can add valuable experience and leadership to the team, having played consistently at a high level in Spain.

"He's a very good defender. An aggressive defender who likes to build up and play football ... a natural fit for us."

Baro spent a season at Socceroo star John Aloisi's former club Osasuna during a decade in Spain's lower leagues.

He said his internet searching for his new home convinced him of the worth of moving to Australia.

"I look for information about Melbourne Victory and I see that it is a great club that has won a lot of leagues," he said.

After James Donachie and Mitch Austin, Baro is the third new signing to join Victory pre-season training ahead of glamour friendlies later this month.

Victory meet Serie A giants Juventus on July 23 at the MCG and Atletico Madrid at Simonds Stadium on July 31.

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