The Wellington Phoenix remain confident of securing star playmaker Michael McGlinchey despite an independent Football Federation Australia arbitrator ruling the All Whites midfielder is still contracted to A-League rivals Central Coast.
The two clubs have been battling for the services of the 27-year-old during the off-season with the Professional Footballers Association believing he is eligible to move across the Tasman.
Wellington-born McGlinchey has been contracted to the Mariners since 2009 and up until recently was on loan to Japanese club Vegalta Sendai.
He struggled for game time and joined the Phoenix last month, believing that the transfer of the A-League licence at the Mariners cleared the way for him to move across the Tasman.
The Phoenix says they'll seek legal advice on the decision.
It has always been the understanding of the Wellington Phoenix that McGlinchey was free to sign a contract with the Phoenix.
The Phoenix general manager David Dome says he had hoped the matter would have been resolved in their favour but appreciates it is liekly to be a drawn out process.
Dome says McGlinchey is training with the Phoenix and his family is in Wellington and they have a while to secure him before the season starts.
McGlinchey hasn't played in any of their pre-season matches, missing high-profile matches against English Premier League sides West Ham and Newcastle.
He did play for a New Zealand XI against the Phoenix in Taupo last weekend.