Phoenix close ranks on Pavlovic's departure

SAM WORTHINGTON
Last updated 05:00 15/11/2012
Mirjan Pavlovic
MIRJAN PAVLOVIC: Was loaned to Sydney United in the off-season and didn't return.

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The Wellington Phoenix will not reveal why Mirjan Pavlovic has left the club.

But they have confirmed they are seeking a replacement for the striker.

The Phoenix yesterday announced that Pavlovic's contract had been "terminated by mutual consent" before thanking him for his services and wishing him "every success in his football career".

Last month, the Phoenix issued a statement saying Pavlovic, 23, had "a medical condition which restricted his ability to play professional football".

Phoenix general manager David Dome would not elaborate yesterday, saying "we're just bound by the rules of termination and that's it."

The club's lips were sealed because of an agreement with Professional Footballers Australia, and "it's a sensitive issue". Dome said he could not say if the Phoenix had paid out Pavlovic's contract, because "it's all confidential to the player".

Pavlovic joined the Phoenix in 2010 and scored two goals in 25 games. The former Australian under-23 representative was loaned to Sydney United during the A-League off-season and never returned to Wellington.

Dome said Pavlovic was in Sydney and coach Ricki Herbert had been given the nod to seek a replacement. The Phoenix were "right on" the A-League salary cap of NZ$3.17 million meaning a new signing would be a "straight swap" for what Pavlovic got.

The minimum salary for an over-21 player is NZ$60,000.

Dome said Lucas Pantelis was still in Adelaide recovering from his serious knee injury and confirmed loan player Ricardo Clarke would make way for Dani Sanchez once he was fully fit - most likely next month.

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