A week after losing head coach Robbie Fowler, Brisbane Roar have been hit by the departure of on-loan midfielder Aiden O'Neill.
Brisbane failed in a late bid to land the Australia U-23 international on a three-year deal from parent club Burnley.
Instead, O’Neill is expected to link up with Melbourne City to replace departing midfielder Denis Genreau.
It’s a significant blow for fourth-placed Brisbane - whose offer was flatly rejected by the Premier League club - as they prepare for the A-League restart at home to Adelaide United in 12 days time.
O’Neill, 22, has been on City’s radar for some time and is expected to sign on loan or make a permanent switch from the Clarets, assuming a fee is agreed.
Having spent last season on loan at Central Coast, where he made 23 appearances, O’Neill racked up 17 appearances for his hometown team in a deep-lying role as they overcame a poor start to the season to jump into the finals mix prior to Fowler’s shock exit.
His loan deal officially expired on May 31, but he was training with Brisbane until the beginning of last week.
O’Neill’s contract at Turf Moor was due to expire last month, with the option for an extension until mid-2021.
A part of the Olyroos squad which has qualified for next year’s Tokyo Olympics, O’Neill has made three senior appearances for Burnley and previously had loan spells at Fleetwood Town and Oldham Athletic.
Brisbane declined to comment when contacted by The World Game.