Josh Risdon to walk out on Perth Glory at the end of the season
Perth Glory have been dealt a huge blow after star defender Josh Risdon confirmed he would be walking out on the club at the end of the A-League season.
Glory had tabled a lucrative contract extension to Risdon in the hope of convincing the fringe Socceroo to stay at the club for at least another season.
But those contract negotiations are now dead and buried, with Risdon believed to be on the verge of signing a deal with Western Sydney.
"This has not been an easy decision. I feel the time is right for me to explore a new adventure and grow in a different environment and move out of my comfort zone in Western Australia," Risdon said.
"For the past seven years I have bled purple and I owe a lot to Perth Glory and my coaches.
"It's here where I have been fortunate to lead the team on the park, and as a result earn a berth in the Socceroos."
Risdon played 127 games for Glory, making him the most capped player in the club's A-League history.
Meanwhile, the fairytale homecoming of Socceroo Rhys Williams has turned into a nightmare, with the Glory recruit told there is no chance of him being released to join Sydney FC during the January transfer window.
Williams' immediate future remains up in the air as tensions between Perth and Sydney continue to grow.
Sydney are desperate to secure the services of Williams, with the league leaders needing to find replacements for Matt Jurman (released to Suwon Bluewings) and Seb Ryall (hamstring).
Williams, who joined his hometown club Perth at the start of the season following several injury-ravaged years in Europe, would be a perfect fit at the Sky Blues.
But Glory are playing hard ball, refusing to release a player to one of their Championship rivals.
A meeting between Williams, his manager Tony Rallis, the players' union, and Glory was held on Tuesday.
But the mediation session ended with the same result -- Williams being told by Glory that he won't be released to a rival A-League club under any circumstances.
It's left Williams with two options -- either find an overseas club to join during the transfer window, or work his way back in favour at Glory and play out the season there.
Williams has been overlooked for selection for the past four games, and it appears unlikely his bitter standoff with Glory will have a happy ending.
"We'd prefer him to stay here," Glory chief executive Peter Filopoulos said.
"However, if an overseas club showed some interest, we'd have discussions.
"But certainly for us to terminate the contract for him to be able to move in the January window to another A-League club is not an option."