Sydney FC loan star Danny de Silva has hit back at suggestions he forced Central Coast Mariners to let him leave by refusing to train with the Gosford club.
Sources at the Central Coast side last month claimed de Silva was not turning up for training in a bid to force through a mutual termination on the last three years of his deal.
Club insiders told FourFourTwo at the time that they had stopped paying the 21 year old star in a bid to bring him back to the training ground while they held out for a deal overseas.
CCM point blank refused to let De Silva end his contract to join Sydney permanently for free, and FFA rules prohibit transfer fees between A-League clubs.
Instead they hoped de Silva could find a new club overseas who would be able to pay the club a transfer fee.
In the end a new A-League rule allowing loans between clubs salvaged the increasingly ugly situation with a win for all sides.
De Silva got his move to Sydney FC, they picked up a star signing (with part of his wage paid by Central Coast Mariners) and the Gosford side made a profit on the retainer paid by Serie A side Roma to keep alive a transfer option on de Silva, while still retaining a long term contract on the player.
Today though de Silva claimed he was never on strike or rebelling and the deal was all amicably agreed.
"Being the first player to ever be loaned within the A-League is something new and I guess there is still a lingering and strange feeling about the way I left the Mariners and was able to join Sydney," he told Professional Footballers Australia website.
"The most important thing for me through this process was to understand what was actually happening and not to let other noise get into my head.
"People said I was ‘on strike’ or ‘rebelling’. This certainly wasn’t the case. It was actually much more straightforward.
"The Mariners were made aware there was an opportunity for me to move to Sydney and they were open to that."
He added: "I had a meeting with the staff at the Mariners, and they gave me permission not to attend training until the discussions with Sydney were resolved.
"It was a really nice gesture from them, and I thank them for that.
"The Mariners staff didn’t insist on me returning to training as they were aware the deal with Sydney was being done – it was just taking a lot longer because the rules were new and people were working through it all for the first time.
"In my mind, this was the way a lot of transfers and loans work around the world, so there was no issue. I knew the Mariners knew that too, so I felt comfortable with the decision.
"I never refused to go to training or anything like that.
"I always had a good relationship with the Mariners the whole time I was there. They are a great bunch of lads. I still try and keep in contact with them and I’m not too far away from them now.
"I sent them a message wishing them all the best for the rest of the season and left on good terms."