Max Burgess walked out on Western United earlier this season, and he was unable to sign with A-League rivals Sydney FC until his contract ran out.
Attacking midfielder Max Burgess has officially joined Sydney FC on a two-year deal following his messy and protracted exit from Western United.
Burgess had been agitating for a move away from Western United during the pre-season and early rounds of the 2020/21 campaign before reluctantly rejoining the squad.
He played just one match for Western United this season - a 28-minute cameo off the bench on February 7 - before being granted leave to return to NSW.
United played hardball with Burgess and refused to allow him to join another A-League rival this season.
It meant Burgess had to sit out the rest of the season and wait for his contract to expire before he could link up with the Sky Blues.
Burgess started his A-League career at Sydney in 2014, before stints at the Newcastle Jets, Wellington Phoenix, and United.
He also spent time at Portuguese second division side Uniao.
The 26-year old is excited to be returning to his boyhood club for the next two seasons.
"I can't wait to get started," Burgess said.
"I'm itching to get back to training with the boys and helping us win more trophies.
"Sydney FC is the club I supported as a boy and I'm delighted that I will get the chance to pull on the sky blue shirt again.
"I know that Sydney FC is seen as the benchmark and this club has high standards and expectations, so I am determined to ensure I meet those expectations."
Sydney coach Steve Corica predicts Burgess is ready to become an integral part of the Sky Blues.
"Max has shown the promise he always had as a youngster in recent seasons and has developed into a very good A-League player," Corica said.
"I'd like to see Max go onto the next level at Sydney FC and become one of the linchpins of our squad in the years ahead.
"He's at the right age to achieve that and he will get all the support we can give him."
Sydney's bid for a three-peat of titles was brought undone when they lost to Melbourne City 3-1 in the grand final.