Wellington Phoenix fans are seething after teenage star Marco Rojas quit the A-League club - almost certainly to join rival Melbourne Victory.
Teenage winger Marco Rojas, who lit up the A-League over the past two months with sensational performances to help Phoenix to the finals, is expected to be confirmed as a Victory player within days.
Already Phoenix has announced 19-year-old Rojas will leave the club when his contract expires on March 31, saying he was on his way to Victory.
Victory coach Ernie Merrick denied on Monday a deal for Rojas had been completed.
Victory was understood to be vying with Adelaide United to sign the attacker.
Rojas' defection from Phoenix has enraged the club's passionate supporters' group, the Yellow Fever, who chipped in to pay for Rojas to trial with the club two years ago.
Convinced he was the best young talent in New Zealand, they funded a scholarship which proved successful, and he signed a two-year deal.
Now Phoenix fans are venting their spleen on internet forums and social media, some going as far to describe the youngster as "Judas" and vowing to give him a hot reception when he returns to Westpac Stadium with his new club.
Rojas only broke into the Phoenix first-team late in the season as a winger.
But he scored two goals and created any number of others with his speed and vision and was named A-League young footballer of the year for February.
Likely to earn his first New Zealand senior call-up for friendlies against China and Japan in late March, Rojas would have been a certainty for first-team football next season at the Phoenix.
Merrick, who is in Japan for the Victory's Asian Champions League match against Gamba Osaka on Tuesday night, said Rojas had not yet been signed.
"We haven't signed any new players so there's no transfer," he said.
"We don't comment on any prospective signings. Never have, never will."
Melbourne Victory confirmed it has signed midfielder Mitch Nichols from Brisbane Roar on a two-year deal, reuniting him with his former coach Ange Postecoglou.