Sydney's A-League rivals poised after Brillante’s Korea move falls through

Josh Brillante wowed fans with his stunning strike against Perth Glory Source: Getty Images

Josh Brillante’s aborted move to Pohang Steelers has opened the door to potential offers from Western United, Melbourne Victory or Melbourne City for the disgruntled Sydney FC midfielder.

With Sydney's negotiations with the the K-League falling through the 25-year-old fringe Socceroos’ dream of a second shot at overseas success have been scuppered. Sources close to Sydney have revealed that relations between Brillante and the club have soured. 

The Sky Blues, who have been seeking to re-sign Brillante for several months, wanted an undisclosed fee from Pohang, even though he has just two months of his contract to run.

Brillante has been absent from coach Steve Corica’s line-ups since news of the Pohang offer broke 10 days ago, because the club felt he was distracted.

Previously on the books of Fiorentina, Empoli and Como in Italy, Brillante has long cherished hopes of another overseas opportunity and was confident he’d played his final game for the club, going so far as to farewell his teammates.

His disappointment at Sydney’s stance - with the club keen to keep him in the engine room alongside the re-signed Brandon O’Neill - is understood to be acute, paving the way for a probable end-of-season exit.

He’s previously assured Sydney he would not move elsewhere in the A-League.

But newcomers Western United are understood to be interested and will have the budget to outbid Sydney, whilst City - with Luke Brattan likely to depart - and Victory - with Carl Valeri deep in the autumn of his career - may soon be looking for midfield reinforcements.

Brillante has played in all but two of Sydney’s 22 A-League games this season, and is viewed as a major cog in their bid for a second championship in three seasons.

Sydney return to action away to Brisbane on Friday night, and Corica will be working hard to appease Brillante’s bruised sensibilities in the days ahead in an effort to reintegrate him into the first team.

The World Game has contacted Sydney FC for comment.