Sydney FC ace Brillante dropped ahead of imminent Pohang switch

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Josh Brillante appears to have played his last game for Sydney FC, with the midfielder dropped just before tonight’s AFC Champions League clash against Kawaskai Frontale, pending a move to Pohang Steelers.

The five-time K1 League champions have made a formal approach for the off-contract 25-year-old linchpin, with only the fine details of a deal to be worked out ahead of the April 1 closure of Korea’s transfer window.

It’s likely the Sky Blues would receive a nominal fee to cover the loss of a key player in their A-League title defence, with Brillante having racked up 20 appearances already this season.

However, coach Steve Corica wasn’t willing to pick a player with an imminent move on his mind for the Group H game.

The club released a statement prior to kick off, which claimed the fringe Socceroo wasn’t in the “right frame of mind” to play.

“There has been overseas interest in Josh which meant he wasn’t in the right frame of mind for tonight’s game,” Sydney FC's statement read.

“We have a big enough squad and need to have every player 100 per cent focused on the match so the decision was made to leave him out.” 

Brillante is in his third season with Sydney and has been hankering after an overseas move after previous stints in Italy with Fiorentina, Empoli and Como.