A tug of war has broken out over Steve Lustica between Adelaide United and Brisbane Roar over the wantaway forward's bid to quit the Reds to return to his old club in Queensland.
The former Gold Coast United youngster joined Adelaide this season on his return from Europe after a 12-game spell with Roar on loan from Hajduk Split in Croatia at the end of last season.
Today the Reds claimed Canberra-born Lustica, 22, had already agreed to extend his contract into next season and say the deal was confirmed in an email from his agent and verbally wih Lustica.
But Lustica has now told the club he wants to leave immediately to join Brisbane Roar.
Adelaide United have blocked the move and say they will not release the midfielder.
"This situation is totally different to a transfer based matter where club and player alike benefit from a potential move," said Adelaide football operations manager Michael Petrillo in a statement released today.
"Originally playing in Croatia for HNK Hajduk Split, Steven agreed to join Adelaide United for the current season. Recently, he was offered an extension to his current contract.
"At the conclusion of these negotiations by way of email from his agent and a verbal commitment from Steven he had agreed to extend his contract with Adelaide United FC for the 2014/15 Hyundai A-League season.
"That was followed by an approach from Brisbane Roar and his position has since changed. He has now indicated that he would like to immediately terminate his current contract to join the Brisbane Roar.
"As at today, Adelaide United FC will not release the player. The club will continue to seek to resolve the matter with the player and or his agent and until that time there will be no further comment on the matter."