A-League transfer news: Riley McGree returns to Adelaide United, Wellington Phoenix sign Mexican midfielder Ulises Davila

The South Australian product is returning home, while the Kiwis have strengthened their creativity reserves

Adelaide United have completed a transfer coup with the acquisition of South Australian-born midfielder Riley McGree as the first signing from new coach Gertjan Verbeek.

The 20-year-old talent, who began his career with the Reds in 2014, has decided to return home for the upcoming season on a three-year deal after the Reds agreed an undisclosed fee with Belgian giants Club Brugge.

McGree has spent the last two seasons on loan at A-League clubs Newcastle Jets and Melbourne City after being sent Down Under to develop by Brugge.

He made headlines worldwide during the 2017-18 A-League finals series with the scorpion kick goal he scored to put the Jets into the grand final.

“It’s great to be back with Adelaide United and to have another opportunity at this great club ahead of a big season,” McGree said.

“As a team, Adelaide had a very good season last year and were unlucky to miss out on a place in the Grand Final, so I have big ambitions for the club and myself for sure. 

“Gertjan likes to play a style of football that suits me well so I’m excited to be part of this team and cannot wait for it all to begin.”

After making his debut for Adelaide United as a 17-year-old in 2016, McGree went on to make 22 appearances with his home-town club before being snapped up by Club Brugge for the 2017-18 season.

The Gawler product then decided to have his first A-League loan spell with the Jets in early 2018 after it became clear he was seen as a talent for the future in Belgium.

McGree was again sent out on loan to Melbourne City last season, scoring seven goals and getting four assists in 27 appearances.

He was called up to the Socceroos squad in 2017 for World Cup qualifiers against Iraq and the UAE but he was an unused substitute and is still uncapped at senior level.

In other A-League transfer news, Wellington Phoenix have snapped up Mexican attacking midfielder Ulises Davila on a two-year deal.

The 28-year-old, who once signed a five-year contract with Premier League powerhouse Chelsea, heads to New Zealand after stints for Santos Laguna in Mexico and India’s Delhi Dynamos.

“I’m looking forward to the challenge of the A-League and believe I can really show my qualities this year,” Dávila said.

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“I want to thank Ufuk for having faith in me and bringing me to Wellington and I can’t wait to get started and show the fans I am here to play for the club and win games.”

Davila penned a long-term deal with Chelsea while they were coached by Andre Villas-Boas in 2011 but never played for the English club and was sent out on several loan spells.

He will join central defender Steven Taylor as the two current Phoenix imports with three foreign places still to be filled.

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