Perth Glory's hopes of making the finals next season have suffered a huge blow after star attacker Chris Ikonomidis formally announced he will be leaving the A-League club.
Glory were desperate to retain Ikonomidis but it seems he is destined to land at Western Sydney Wanderers on a big-money deal.
Melbourne Victory, who are now coached by Tony Popovic, were also in the race to secure the services of the Socceroos ace.
Glory chief executive Tony Pignata said Perth tried their best to keep Ikonomidis, who played for the Wanderers in 2017-18.
"We made an excellent offer to Chris in order to try and keep him at Glory," Pignata said.
"Unfortunately, he has declined the opportunity to re-sign for the club and instead opted to take up an offer elsewhere.
"While we are naturally disappointed that we won't see Chris in purple again next season, it is very much an amicable parting of the ways."
Ikonomidis was lured to Glory in 2018 and starred in his first season, helping the club claim the premiership and reach the grand final.
His hot form was rewarded with a Socceroos recall.
But the 26-year-old's career was put on hold for 13 months when he ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee while playing for the Glory in February 2020.
Ikonomidis returned in round 16 this season and ended the 2020-21 campaign with four goals from nine appearances.
The Wanderers have missed the finals for the past four seasons, in response they have been active in the transfer market.
Last week Western Sydney signed former Socceroos defender Rhys Williams for the next two A-League seasons and they offset the departure of club player of the year Bruce Kamau by securing Israel international striker Tomer Hemed on a one-season deal.
The potential addition of Ikonomidis would give the Wanderers a proven attacking weapon.
Glory finished a disappointing ninth last season and are hopeful star skipper Diego Castro will re-sign.
Defender Jason Geria left to rejoin the Victory while Perth released veteran midfielder Neil Kilkenny.
The Glory received a boost last week when they lured former Sydney FC midfielder Brandon O'Neill back to Perth on a three-year deal.