Central Coast Mariners are on the verge of losing their captain, after the club granted Alex Wilkinson permission to talk to K-League side Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors.
The Mariners deny any deal has already been done between the clubs for their skipper, but the club are willing to let the long-serving defender explore the opportunity.
Wilkinson will stay in Korea for a week, as he assesses if a move to Asia is right for him.
Losing Wilkinson would represent a massive blow to the reigning premiers, with Graham Arnold having to source a high quality replacement with the start of the new season only a couple of months away.
The Mariners have also lost another long-serving defender, with Bradley Porter retiring from football due to injury.
Porter, who is only 25, spent over six years on the Mariners roster, making 90 competitive appearances for the club.
“It’s been a tough decision to make to have to retire from the game, but at the end of the day I did the injury nearly two years ago now and in that time it’s been extremely frustrating trying to come back and having setbacks,” Porter said.
The defender is now aiming to move into coaching and hopes to find a role with the Mariners.