Sydney FC have confirmed the departures of influential imports Bobo and Adrian Mierzejewski - with the transfer fees understood to surpass more than $2 million.
As reported earlier, Brazilian striker and last season's Golden Boot winner Bobo heads toTurkey, while Polish wizard and 2017/18 Johnny Warren medallist, Mierzejewski, has made a lucrative switch the China.
Both players turned down increased offers from the club and leave the Sky Blues with a marquee spot and four international player vacancies. AAP reports that 34-year-old former Liverpool, Chelsea and AC Milan striker, Fernando Torres, is a prime target.
New head coach Steve Corica has a monumental challenge to rebuild the pillars of the record-breaking outfit after Dutch defensive rock, Jordy Buijs, was released earlier this year.
Bobo said: “I’ve had a fantastic couple of years with Sydney FC which have been among the most memorable in my career and I will never forget my time in Australia."
“However, this is a unique opportunity for me and my family to pursue one final challenge in my career.
“I’d like to thank Sydney FC, all of my team-mates, the staff and most importantly our fantastic Members for their support throughout my time at the club.
“I know Steve and the club wanted me to stay and they tried very hard to persuade me, but this is an opportunity I feel I need to take at this stage of my career, and I am hugely grateful to everyone at Sydney FC for their understanding on the matter.”
Former international Mierzejewski leaves the club just one season into a three-year deal. The 31-year old is expected to be officially unveiled in China within the coming days.
Corica thanked both players for their service but expressed confidence in replacing them.
"There’s no doubt Bobô and Adrian had excellent seasons for us and we wanted both to stay, but it’s part of football that players want to move on and seek fresh challenges and experiences for their family,” he said.
“We have some very exciting targets who we are talking to and I’m looking forward to bringing in more quality to an already experienced and talented squad.
“We have a very solid base and the injection of new blood and some fresh faces will ensure the squad remains healthy and revitalised as we attempt to achieve even greater things this season.”
Chief Executive Officer Danny Townsend believes the deals represent "sensible business" for the club.
Townsend said: “The performances of both players last season meant they were in high demand and we offered both upgraded deals to stay.
“They were under contract so we could have stood firm but having discussed the situation with Steve and his football department; and given both players’ desire to leave, we felt it was in the best interests of Sydney FC to allow them to move on, providing the club’s asking price was met.
“Sydney FC has a proven record in being able to recruit some of the best players in Hyundai A-League history and I have every confidence that will continue.”