David Villa to play for Melbourne before New York MLS move

Spain striker David Villa will play in the Australian A-League for Melbourne City next season ahead of his move to Major League Soccer in the USA.

The 32-year-old became the first signing for new MLS side New York City, a franchise owned by Manchester City.

But between October and December, prior to the start of the American season in March, he will play for Melbourne, who are also part-owned by Manchester City.

Before that, Villa will face Australia at the World Cup with Spain in Group B.

Villa, Spain's record scorer with 56 goals, signed a three-year deal with New York after helping Atletico Madrid to win the Spanish league last season, having previously won the title twice with Barcelona.

"It's very good for me in every sense," he said of his decision to play down under.

"From a football point of view it's the opportunity to play in a new league in a different country, and of course it will be ideal for me to get some competitive football in the period before the MLS season gets under way."

The Australian side, recently rebranded from Melbourne Heart, are coached by former Netherlands international John van't Schip, who said: "David Villa is still at the peak of his game and is an instinctive and gifted striker who will contribute significantly to Melbourne City."