Melbourne City boss Warren Joyce admits Thursday night’s blockbuster clash against Newcastle Jets could be striker Ross McCormack’s last for the club.
McCormack is currently at City on an injury-replacement deal for striker Bruno Fornaroli, on loan from parent club Aston Villa in the English Championship.
And the Scotsman has reinvigorated his career in Melbourne, scoring 14 goals in just 16 games to sit second on the golden boot standings.
But with Fornaroli edging closer to a return and with a host of clubs reportedly interested in signing McCormack full time, his future in the Hyundai A-League remains in limbo.
Ahead of Thursday’s Round 18 clash at AAMI Park, Joyce conceded McCormack’s future beyond the Jets clash was unclear.
“It could possibly be [his last game],” the City boss said.
“There are a lot of things that need to be discussed with Aston Villa, they’re his parent club and have got a major say in what happens to Ross.
“All those things have got to be discussed between the two clubs. I don’t honestly know.
“We’re just preparing for the game, we’re doing all we can behind the scenes. The talks are ongoing, we’re just concentrating on [the Jets game] really and we’ll assess it after that.”
McCormack has stated he hopes to finish the season at City but there is also the issue around his family, who have remained in the UK.
Given the amount of goals McCormack has scored and his overall play, losing him at this stage of the season would be a blow to City’s title hopes.
If the ex-Leeds United striker was to depart, it would leave City with a striker shortage as Fornaroli’s return from his serious ankle injury isn’t expected for around another month.
"He's [Fornaroli] worked tremendously hard...he's desperate to be involved," Joyce said.
"Ten days ago, there was a little hiccup and he was down and frustrated. Then the last few days, he's upped it a bit. It's normal."