Star player Danny De Silva, along with Trent Buhagiar and Thomas Glover will be absent most of January for the AFC U23 Championship in China.

Fox Sports reported had not opted for a "high profile" signing in the transfer window.

The Mariners, Western Sydney Wanderers, Adelaide United and Melbourne City are the hardest hit by the U23s tournament, each losing three players.

A-League clubs lost an applicaton to the independent National Arbitration Tribunal to have the players release denied because it fell outside the international match calendar.

In a statement they said compensation would now be sought from Football Federation Australia.