Sydney dig in heels over Brillante transfer
Sydney FC won't let Josh Brillante leave on the cheap, unwilling to grant the midfielder a move unless a suitable transfer fee is forthcoming from Pohang Steelers.
It's understood the K-League side has not yet made a formal offer, nor have they contacted the Sky Blues directly.
However his agent Vince Grella has relayed the interest to club hierarchy, including talk of a $350,000 sum that would include a transfer fee and Brillante's wages.
While the club won't stand in his way it's believed they are seeking a substantially more attractive offer given his contract runs until the end of June.
Regardless, the player himself is anxious to take up the opportunity to further his career abroad.
So much so that coach Steve Corica eventually made the call that the 25-year-old wasn't in the right headspace to give 100 per cent in Wednesday night's 1-0 Asian Champions League loss to Kawasaki Frontale in Japan.
He has also been left out of the squad for Sunday's A-League clash against Melbourne City at Leichhardt Oval, with Paulo Retre the favourite to start again alongside Brandon O'Neill.
"This has only just come up since we got here, so obviously that's all on his mind at the moment," Corica said from Kawasaki Thursday.
"I saw him training, he wasn't really focused on what we were doing so I took the decision to leave him out. We had Paulo Retre and I thought he did a great job.
"Joshy's been great for the club but I can't put him out on the field if he's not in the right frame of mind."
Should Pohang be serious about Brillante they'll have to move relatively quickly, given the Korean transfer window closes on March 28.
"We have to wait and see, it's still ongoing at the moment," Corica said.
"We have been upfront, we've told the truth about what's going on. It's best that people know and the situation hasn't changed since yesterday.
"We just have to wait and see what happens by the weekend."
Reza Ghoochannejhad is set to return to the XI against City after a sore neck limited him to a short substitute shift in Japan, with skipper Alex Brosque set to return to the bench.
"He couldn't move it too much the night before. The pillows are not the best here, put it that way - they're like bricks," Corica said.
"He was much better matchday, but I was always going to play one of either Brosquey or Reza in this game and then one in the next game coming up to freshen up the squad."
But while Sydney are sitting pretty in second on the A-League table, they're last in their Asian Champions League group with a sole point from two games and an uphill battle to overturn the deficit.
Corica rejected suggestions Sydney had parked the bus in the second half against a structurally superior Kawasaki side but acknowledged the need to inject more pace into his attack.
"We got pinned back, we didn't plan that way," he said.
"I thought first half we pressed higher up and it worked well, but it's very hard to press that way the whole game.
"They started to push their fullbacks a lot more forward, and when they started to have possession of the ball it allowed them time to get forward and pin us back, and we found it difficult then to get control of the ball."