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Pay dispute sees Robbie Kruse, James Holland exit Liaoning as free agents

Robbie Kruse
Former Bayer Leverkusen player Robbie Kruse only made four appearances during his time at Liaoning Whowin.

Australia internationals Robbie Kruse and James Holland are free agents after terminating their contracts with Chinese Super League club Liaoning Whowin due to unpaid wages.

Kruse and Holland had only signed for the club in January but have left after their contractual obligations were not met, according to Professional Footballers Australia chief executive John Didulica.

"The players had placed the club on notice to remedy the situation, however the club has failed to do this," Didulica said in a statement.

It means they are free to sign for a club of their choosing, with Kruse's next move vitally important as Australia pushes towards qualification for next year's World Cup in Russia.

It is the second time this year the PFA have intervened to help Australian players find a way out of the Chinese club.

Michael Thwaite and Dario Vidosic were also contracted to Liaoning Whowin but were forced out when the club signed Kruse and Holland, putting them over the CSL's foreign player allowance.

Liaoning reportedly paid a €500,000 transfer fee to German club Bayer Leverkusen for Kruse and an undisclosed sum to Adelaide United for Holland.

Kruse made only four appearances for Liaoning while Holland played just once for the club.

A-League clubs will be on high alert for the pair but it's expected options in Europe and elsewhere in Asia will likely present themselves -- particularly for Kruse, who spent five years in the Bundesliga with three different teams before the move to China.

Holland has not played for the Socceroos since 2013 but said last year he still harboured international ambitions.

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