Carlos signs for three

Dynamic attacking midfielder Carlos Hernandez has agreed to a permanent move to Melbourne Victory, signing a three-year deal with the reigning Hyundai A-League champions.

Dynamic attacking midfielder Carlos Hernandez has agreed to a permanent move to Melbourne Victory, signing a three-year deal with the reigning Hyundai A-League champions.

Hernandez played 41 Hyundai A-League matches and scored eight goals during a two-year loan from Costa Rican club LD Alajuelense and was one of Victory's most valuable players in a successful 2008/09 season.

Victory football operations manager Gary Cole said the process of securing Hernandez was a complicated one, but the champions were delighted with the outcome.

"Normally the longer it takes to sign a contract, our chances of making that happen disappear. This has been the longest process bar none that we've been involved in. It's been complex but we've finally worked it out for everyone concerned and everyone's excited about that," Cole said.

Cole said it was club policy not to disclose transfer fees, but admitted it took a significant amount to secure the Costa Rican's services from his former club.

"It was a significant sum of money for the Melbourne Victory football club and for our board, who have put their hard-earned money into the bank to make this club work. It was a big decision for them to make. Ernie (Merrick) and I are just over the moon that they've been able to come through for us," he said.

"It says a lot about our club and where we've come in such a short period of time. If I'm really honest, when this process started, I wasn't convinced that we would be able to get this deal done. But it says a lot about our club, the stability of the club both on and off the field and the size of our membership."

Merrick said that Hernandez is a vital cog in his team and he was delighted to have him at the club long term.

"There's no doubt our brand of football requires us to link the midfield and the defence with the strikers and that's where Carlos is very strong. His technically ability, his vision and his passing skills and he has got the ability to pass the ball around or through defenders and set-up strikers. Probably one of the best in the league at doing that," he said.

But the Melbourne coach predicted that he best was yet to come from the 27-year-old, who he believes has never really reached the peak of his powers.

"He's going to work very hard. He's going to train and get fit and work very hard. I've always felt that Carlos has played within his comfort zone. We're going to get him out of that comfort zone," Merrick said.

"I think some of the best football he's played was in the finals. We think he's got more to give."

Hernandez said through interpreter Rody Vargas that he always wanted to stay in Melbourne, it was just about finding the right deal.

"My first preference was to stay in Melbourne. Thankfully things worked out and we've come to an agreement. I'm happy to be here," he said.

"When you are a footballer and you've got a family then they come into the account as well. I'm very happy to have signed for three years and have stability at club that I want to stay at."

"I'm looking forward to do my best for the club, not just myself."