Merrick calls for end to McGlinchey stalemate

Midfielder Michael McGlinchey took part in his first Wellington Phoenix training session on Monday morning as the dispute between the Phoenix and the Central Coast Mariners over the player drags on.

Midfielder Michael McGlinchey took part in his first Wellington Phoenix training session on Monday morning as the dispute between the Phoenix and the Central Coast Mariners over the player drags on.

McGlinchey, 27, was released early from his loan-spell with Japanese club Vegalta Sendai at the end of May and signalled his intent to sign with the Phoenix rather than return to the Mariners.

But Central Coast insist the player is still contracted to them for the 2014-15 season and consulted with their legal representatives after the Phoenix announced the All Whites midfielder would start training with them from Monday.

"We are currently seeking legal advice to prevent Michael from playing for any club without our authority from now until 1 January 2015, the day that he is expected back at the Mariners to fulfil his contract," Mariners chairman Michael Charlesworth said in a statement.

Phoenix coach Ernie Merrick was unable to shed any further light on if, or when, McGlinchey would be signed.

"I can't say anything further than what was said on the media release (confirming McGlinchey's attendance at training). We will wait and see what his contractual status is and then we'll take it from there," Merrick said.

When asked if he felt allowing the player to train with the Phoenix was antagonising the situation, Merrick replied: "I feel like there is a player in limbo and his situation needs to be resolved. The sooner the better."

McGlinchey has played 121 times for Central Coast since 2009. Merrick sees him as the ideal replacement for last year's playmaker Carlos Hernandez.

If the Phoenix can get McGlinchey's signing over the line, Merrick will have 21 of the required 23 players on his roster.

He is still looking for another defender and also has one import spot available.

The door also remains open for Paul Ifill to return. Ifill had his first run on Monday as he continues his comeback from Achilles surgery.

Ifill is out-of-contract but remains in and around the team while doing his rehab.

"It was great to see him running around the ground," Merrick said.

"He's actually complained about the time he got. When he starts arguing with the physio and saying he was faster than that I know we've got Paul Ifill back," Merrick joked.

"We've got a visa spot available but eventually we'll have to make a decision on that. At the moment it's great to see Paul doing so well."


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