McBreen may pull out of Roar match

Shanghaied: Daniel McBreen is furious at the club's bid to cash in. Photo: Anthony Johnson
Shanghaied: Daniel McBreen is furious at the club's bid to cash in. Photo: Anthony Johnson

The Central Coast Mariners have infuriated star striker Daniel McBreen by refusing to allow him to join a Chinese Super League club Shanghai East Asia during the January transfer period.

To deter interest, the Mariners have slapped a $250,000 transfer fee on the player's head, despite the striker having just four months left on his contract.

Fairfax Media understands the 36-year old is so angry with the club he is contemplating withdrawing from the match on Sunday against Brisbane Roar at Suncorp Stadium.

It is believed the issue spilt over at training on Thursday. McBreen was clearly unhappy after an exchange with new Mariners chief executive Bruce Stalder - just a day after coach Phil Moss gave McBreen's departure his blessing.

He remains on a relatively paltry contract and is aware his next professional deal might be his last. After his departure was blocked, McBreen asked the club for a contract extension, only to be declined again.

While the striker has seemingly improved with age, having spent most of his career as a lower-league journeyman, he has hardly made a huge living from the game. He turned professional only at 23.

McBreen showed his deft touch around goals last weekend, scoring a superb left-footed goal against Newcastle in a 3-0 triumph.

"Daniel has been a loyal servant to the Mariners since the day he joined and I don't think anyone could say he hasn't given the club tremendous service," his agent, James Hardy, said. "However, as we all know, Daniel is coming to the twilight years of his professional career. This might be his last opportunity to continue to earn a living from the game.

"All he's asking for is for the club to act in good faith by granting him a release. They already have some great strikers in the form of Mitchell Duke, Matt Simon, Bernie Ibini and Mile Sterjovski."

McBreen's stunning form in the A-League last season - he bagged 19 goals in a championship-winning campaign and claimed the golden boot - earned him a three-month loan deal with Shanghai East Asia.

He continued his good form in China, scoring three goals in his 13-game stint in that nation's biggest city. McBreen has scored two goals for the Mariners since returning to the A-League, playing predominantly as an attacking midfielder.

"Daniel has been in China earlier this season and made a great impression there, so the interest is no surprise," Hardy said.

"Ideally, it would be great for the club to offer Daniel a farewell game this weekend and then allow him an opportunity to pursue what he feels might be the last opportunity of his career."

The Mariners refused to budge on their stance when contacted on Thursday night.

‘‘Through Daniel McBreen’s representatives, we can confirm lucrative personal terms have been offered to the player by a Chinese club,’’ a club statement said.

‘‘However at this time the Chinese club interested in signing Daniel has made no transfer offer to the Mariners, nor have they signalled any intent to do so, despite us outlining clear terms for his transfer.’’

The club made it clear that if they were to part company with McBreen, they’d need to be fairly remunerated.

‘‘Put simply, we are not in the business of letting our players walk out on their contractual commitment to the club - and most importantly our fans - for free,’’ it said.

‘‘Unless the Chinese club in question puts a serious offer on the table, Daniel McBreen will remain a Central Coast Mariners player and be expected to fulfill his responsibilities to the club and the fans until the completion of his current deal.’’

This story McBreen may pull out of Roar match first appeared on Brisbane Times.