Franco Lino departs for FK Viking

Melbourne Victory can confirm it has agreed a transfer for defender Franco Lino to Norwegian club, FK Viking for an undisclosed fee.

The 18-year-old will join the Norwegian Elitesirien side during its pre-season after making his Isuzu UTE A-League debut in 2023/24, making seven appearances for the senior side.

Lino joined the Melbourne Victory Academy as a 12-year-old, working his way through the Club’s junior sides before being signed to a scholarship contract at the beginning of the 2023/24 pre-season.

Melbourne Victory Director of Football, John Didulica said he was thrilled to see the Victory Academy graduate take another significant step in his professional football career.

“It’s a proud moment for everyone at Melbourne Victory,” Didulica said.

“Franco is a wonderful young man and to see someone who has been at the Club from a young age not only make their debut with the A-League Men’s side but secure a move to Europe is exciting for the entire Club.

“Franco’s journey to professional football has been an incredible story. He made a huge commitment every day to work within our Academy and now, he has been able to sign a professional contract, make his A-League debut and secure a move abroad all within a few months. In many ways, this is only the end of the beginning for Franco’.

“Franco follows the path of Nick D’Agostino, who joined Viking last season, and we look forward to continuing to build effective pathways for young players to achieve their aspirations of playing football professionally in Australia and abroad.”

Lino was also looking forward to the challenge ahead.

“This is an exciting opportunity for me to head over to Europe and I want to thank everyone at Melbourne Victory who has helped me on this journey,” Lino said.

“Melbourne Victory has played a major role in my life. I will be forever grateful for my time at Victory and hope the squad achieves the ultimate success this season.”