Two players were forced to sit out the Adelaide United v Melbourne City clash following speculation they are headed to Western Sydney Wanderers next season.
Tarek Elrich and Bruce Kamau may have played their last games for their respective clubs.
Elrich was expecting to make his long awaited return from injury on Friday night only to discover he was scrubbed from Reds' line up.
The 31-year-old has reportedly agreed to a two-year deal with the Wanderers where he won the 2012/13 Premiership.
City coach Warren Joyce made the same decision to dump 22-year-old flyer Kamau for the crunch match at Coopers Stadium.
Both players thrived under Wanderers boss Josep Gombau during his reign at Adelaide United.
Fox Sports commentator Michael Zappone said Elrich was "not very happy" by coach Marco Kurz's late call.
"He was asked to come in tonight, we went into the changerooms, we saw his jersey was hanging up ready to go as part of the squad," Zappone said
"But rumours have circulated during the week that perhaps he might have signed for Western Sydney and Marco Kurz spoke to him just minutes ago and told him he was no longer required for this evening."
Kurz denied the link to Wanderers had any impact on the decision to omit the defender from the matchday squad and said other players, such as Vince Lia, had also failed to make the line up.
"It's not about the rumours," Kurz said. "It's about what we need in my opinion today in the game.
"I pick up Strainy (Ryan Strain) from the bench because he can play three positions."