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Jan 12, 2006

Thompson transfer completed: Victory

Socceroo striker Archie Thompson's protracted transfer to Europe has been completed, with the Melbourne Victory announcing a deal has been done on Friday.

Thompson will go to Dutch giant PSV Eindhoven on a six-month loan deal, with a transfer fee to be negotiated at the end of the loan period.

Thompson on Thursday threatened to walk out on the club because of the protracted negotiations, which had stretched on for a fortnight.

Instead, he will play his last match for the Victory on Sunday against Queensland Roar at Suncorp Stadium before heading to Holland to link up with Socceroos coach Guus Hiddink.

Victory boss Geoff Lord hailed the move a win for all parties, with the A-League club winning what it had been fighting for - the ability to negotiate any transfer fee after the initial loan period.

Lord said Victory had broken new ground for Australian clubs negotiating with European powers.

"We believe in Archie Thompson's ability and we were prepared to fight for the right to negotiate at market rates, not an ambit pre-determined amount," Lord said.

"We also believe in the Hyundai A-League and Melbourne Victory, and we were determined not to be pushed around and bullied into taking the first offer that came our way.

"We dug in our heels, and obviously the delay caused some angst with the player, but in the end we got what we wanted, which was a good deal for Melbourne Victory.

"I believe our stance has been vindicated and I hope it serves as a precedent for other A-League clubs who find themselves in a similar position."

Thompson said he was thrilled with the chance to play for PSV, maintain his fitness ahead of the Socceroos' World Cup campaign, and play in the world's best club competition - the European Champions League.

"This deal allows me to pursue my dream of playing in the World Cup," Thompson said.

"It's a dream move to a great club and hopefully it will be a major boost for my career."

Thompson could well return to the Victory for next season if a permanent deal cannot be worked out, or if he fails to impress at PSV.