Signing a Gold Coast United young gun may be on the cards for Ange Postecoglou but the Brisbane Roar coach hopes he will not have to pick through their A-League arch rival's carcass.
Gold Coast's future remains up in the air ahead of their final regular season clash with the Roar at Skilled Park on Sunday as a consortium bids for their licence.
And Postecoglou has not ruled out snapping up their emerging stars - namely teenage prodigy Ben Halloran - if Gold Coast crash and burn.
"We are always thinking about next year and anyone who is out of contract we will look at," he said on Friday.
However, Postecoglou quickly added: "I kind of hope they will be around.
"It would be good for the state to have that rivalry.
"We have already had some memorable clashes and you would hope that it would have grown over the years.
"It would have added something to the A-League."
Yet the Gold Coast are already farewelling players.
Defender Daniel Bowles (Adelaide United), Adama Traore (Melbourne Victory), James Brown (Newcastle) and Chris Harold (Perth) have linked with other clubs amid the uncertainty.
It is believed the potential feeding frenzy from clubs prompted Football Federation Australia to send a memo on Thursday reminding A-League clubs that they must follow protocol and deliver in writing to the governing body expressions of interest in Gold Coast players.
"Clubs are clamouring for our players. The carcass is being picked out of us," said Gold Coast coach Mike Mulvey.
"Letters have been sent overnight asking to talk to several of them."
But captain and Socceroos defender Michael Thwaite is among the majority of United players who are holding off on offers hoping against hope that they don't have to leave the tourist strip after this season.
"It would be stupid of me to ignore them (other offers) but I definitely have not put pen to paper yet," Thwaite said of his future.
"I have interest from the A-League and Asia - there are options but my family is my priority and my family on the Gold Coast being my team is a priority as well.
"It is important FFA make a decision before Sunday."
United have been impressive on-field in their six games since billionaire owner Clive Palmer was stripped of the Gold Coast licence, culminating in a 3-0 upset last-round win over finals-bound Perth Glory.
In what may be their final game, United have a chance to deny defending champions the Roar a chance to claim back to back Premier's Plates this weekend.
Certainly Postecoglou was not locking in a win if their minor premiership hopes were kept alive by Wellington knocking off top spot rivals Central Coast earlier on Sunday.
"They have hit good form. They have held some of the best teams in the comp to draws and got a win last week," he said of United.
"It will be an enormous challenge for us."
Meanwhile, the Roar have ruled out defender Mohamed Adnan after he injured his knee in Brisbane's 1-1 Asian Champions League draw with Beijing Guoan in China on Tuesday night.