Central Coast are resigned to losing young gun Daniel De Silva after kicking off preparations for the new A-League season without him.
Despite being contracted for another two seasons, De Silva was nowhere to be seen as the Mariners held their first pre-season training session on Thursday under new coach Mike Mulvey.
According to the club, he wasn't required, having been given a few days of bonus annual leave.
"Danny wasn't here today. He's been given a couple of extra days off - that's no problem," Mulvey told reporters.
However, it's understood the Mariners aren't expecting him to return from that extended holiday any time soon.
De Silva might have penned a three-year contract last year when he joined Central Coast to link up with his former youth international coach Paul Okon.
But the 21-year-old has no intention of seeing it out now Okon is gone and the Mariners are seemingly content to let him walk.
De Silva's agent Vince Grella is continuing to shop him to clubs in the A-League and Europe.
Melbourne City have chosen not to sign him, despite making strong overtures, while De Silva previously turned down an approach from Brisbane.
Sydney FC and his former club Perth Glory are reportedly interested in his services.
Whoever wants him will have to solve the riddle of his complex contractual situation.
The attacking midfielder is believed to be tied to AS Roma but has never been officially on the books of the Italian Serie A club.
It's not known how long the deal is for but reports suggest Roma are seeking another club to help ease the burden of De Silva's $500,000 salary - a hefty price to pay for a player who has never represented them.
De Silva is regarded as a Socceroo-in-waiting. He burst onto the A-League scene with the Glory, his hometown club, as a 15-year-old - but he is still yet to make the most of his undoubted potential.
Last season, he made 22 appearances for the Mariners, occasionally starring but generally struggling to find consistency in a losing team who collected the wooden spoon.
Australian Associated Press