Boost for Sydney FC as Le Fondre returns for A-League run-in

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SYDNEY (Reuters) - Sydney FC received a major boost in their quest to retain the A-League title on Friday with the announcement that prolific English striker Adam Le Fondre will return to the club on a 2 1/2-year deal.

Le Fondre was top scorer in the last two A-League seasons as Sydney FC won back-to-back titles before departing for a successful stint with Mumbai City in the Indian Super League.

The 34-year-old former Reading striker will arrive in Australia on Friday night and complete 14 days of quarantine before being available to play in the last four matches of the regular season.

Sydney FC are currently fourth in the A-League standings, four points behind leaders Melbourne City with nine games to play before the championship playoffs.

Le Fondre, who scored 45 goals in 68 matches in his first stint with the club, said he was delighted to be returning to Sydney.

"This club and this city had an enormous impact on me and my family during my time here and I'm so pleased to be coming back," he said in a news release.

"It's like I'm coming home and to know I have signed for even longer than last time is a fantastic feeling. I'm looking forward to helping (the boys) step it up again and we'll be firing on all cylinders in the back half of the season."

(Reporting by Nick Mulvenney, editing by Peter Rutherford)