Perth Glory coach Dave Mitchell insists Eugene Dadi has left the club on amicable terms.
Dadi was contracted to Perth until the end of the A-League season but is now expected to link up with rivals Wellington Phoenix after flying to New Zealand on Sunday.
The Glory are eyeing former Scottish Premier League midfielder Steven McGarry to fill the now vacant import spot.
Dadi earned a cult following during his time in Perth, quickly becoming a fan favourite after bagging 10 goals last season.
But the 36-year-old Frenchman fell behind Branko Jelic, Mile Sterjovski, Victor Sikora and, more recently, Jamie Harnwell in the pecking order this season, failing to score a goal in his six appearances amid reports he had fallen out with Mitchell.
"Obviously Eugene was frustrated and he wanted to have another contract for another year," Mitchell revealed on Monday.
"From our point of view we didn't think he'd played enough games and if he wanted to do that (extend his career) it was best he pursue it somewhere else.
"There were two other clubs interested so they've come in and we decided to let him go for his future career.
"There was no animosity there at all."
McGarry arrives on Tuesday for a trial.
Mitchell initially viewed McGarry as a possible replacement for either Jacob Burns, Mile Sterjovski or Chris Coyne, who are all expected to leave the club this month on loan deals.
But Dadi's early departure means McGarry, who scored four goals in 110 games for Motherwell, can slot into the squad straight away.
"He wants to come and have a look at this place and we want to have a look at him," Mitchell said of the 30-year-old.
"It's sort of a trial to start with and if he turns out to be good then we could mutually agree quickly (to sign him) now that there's a position open."
Perth host Sydney in a crunch clash on Sunday but will again be without Sikora (thigh), although Jelic is expected to return from an ankle complaint.