#INSERT type:image caption: Fringe Socceroo Rhys Williams made 16 appearances for Perth Glory this season. END#
Rhys Williams will swap purple for navy blue next season after Melbourne Victory confirmed the A-League's worst-kept transfer secret.
The 28-year-old Australia international has put a turbulent season with hometown club Perth behind him by signing a two-year deal with Kevin Muscat's grand finalists.
Having been linked to various clubs in recent months, most prominently champions Sydney FC, he'll instead head to the Sky Blues' staunch rivals.
"I had some things to weigh up in terms of a couple different offers," Williams said.
"But ultimately it was my conversations with Kevin that convinced me Melbourne Victory was the right place to sign."
Williams will anchor a new-look backline which may feature young central defender Thomas Deng, who's back from a year-long loan to Dutch outfit PSV Eindhoven.
Pushing him for a starting spot will be James Donachie, especially in the absence of departed centre-backs Nick Ansell and Alan Baro.
With Joe Marston Medal-winner Daniel Georgievski off to Newcastle, Muscat will also be on the lookout for a new left-back among other positions further up the field.
"Rhys is the first piece of the puzzle as work begins on building our squad for what is sure to be an exciting 2017-18 season," Muscat said.
"It's well-known that we like versatility in our squad, and not only is Rhys an outstanding defender, he is also very good on the ball and is equally comfortable playing as a full-back or even in midfield."